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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Turkeys Trade Deficit Widens In July

According to the provisional data from Turkstat, exports were up by 40.8% year on year in July (and reached to 12,583 Million Dollars), while were up by 35% (and reached to 20,537 Million Dollars).

Over the January-July period exports grew 39% in 2008 compared with 2007, to 81,397 Million Dollars while imports grew 36.6% in 2008 compared with 2007, to 126,380 Million Dollars.

At the same month, foreign trade deficit raised by 26.7%, reached from 6,276 Million Dollars to 7,954 Million Dollars. While during the January-July period the foreign trade deficit was up by 32.4% over the same period in 2007 and reached 44,983 Million Dollars.

Evidently the evolution in the trade deficit, which may be mostly about energy, is a growing cause for concern.

Germany and Russia are the main partners...

The weight of the EU in Exports has continued in July 2008. As compared with the same month of the previous year, exports to EU were 6,092 Million Dollars and increased by 23.3%. The proportion of the EU countries was 48.4%.

In July 2008, the main partner for exports was Germany with 1,227 Million Dollars and increased by 24.7%. For exports, Germany was followed by UAE (968 Million Dollars), Italy (839 Million Dollars) and The UK (776 Million Dollars). For July 2008, the top country for Turkey’s imports was Russia (3,146 Million Dollars), records for imports range from Germany (1,789 Million Dollars), USA (1,474 Million Dollars) and China (1,426 Million Dollars).

And again, as we have been seeing, the current dependence on Russia is becoming rather problematic, and possibly just as worrying as that trade deficit.

Turkey spent a good part of last week protesting to Russia over trade restrictions after trucks were held up at customs posts, hurting exports to Turkey's biggest trading partner. Russian customs inspections, which previously took a few hours, are delaying the entry of Turkish trucks for as long as 20 days, according to an official at Turkey's Trade Ministry. The ministry estimates Turkey could lose as much as $3 billion in exports if the curbs continue, and has sought an explanation from the Russian government.

Russia last year was the largest market outside the European Union for Turkish goods, with $4.9 billion of exports, according to the Turkish Assembly of Exporters. Turkey sells textiles and food to Russia, and relies on imports of Russian natural gas for heating and electricity. The restrictions are especially damaging for Turkish textile exporters who are currently selling their winter collections, Trade Minister Kursad Tuzmen said yesterday. Textile and clothing exports were Turkey's biggest foreign currency earner last year, bringing in $22.6 billion to help cap a trade deficit that's widening as energy costs rise.

Turkish Builder Enka Hit Hard

Enka Insaat & Sanayi AS, Turkey's biggest builder, and brewer Anadolu Efes Biracilik & Malt Sanayii fell the most in more than a year in Istanbul trading last week on concern that they may lose business in Russia as a result of tensions in the Caucasus.

Investors are concerned that Enka, which has won contracts to build airports and power stations in Russia and modernize Russia's parliament buildings, may lose out as the military conflict in Georgia hurts Russia's relations with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization or NATO, in which Turkey is a member. Anadolu Efes beer sales in Russia have surged as the company acquired local brewers.

Almost half of Enka's backlog of orders are in Russia, and more than half its assets are in Russia and other CIS countries, Hackett said. Enka owns the Ramstore chain of supermarkets in Russia.

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