Turkey trade deficit more than doubles in May as exports slump

Turkey’s foreign trade deficit more than doubled in May as exports contracted at a faster pace than imports.

The deficit jumped by 103 percent from May 2019 to $3.42 billion, the Turkish Statistical Institute said on its website on Tuesday.

Exports slumped by 41 percent to $9.97 billion, while imports fell by 28 percent to $13.4 billion.

Turkey relies on markets in the European Union for the lion’s share of its export sales, but lockdowns in those countries due to the coronavirus pandemic saw demand for the products dive. Meanwhile, more than two-thirds of Turkish exports are made up of imported goods and materials.

The deficit in May meant that the trade gap widened to $21 billion in the first five months of the year, an increase of 103 percent from the same period of 2019, according to the institute. Exports slid by an annual 20 percent compared with a decline of 5.2 percent in imports.