Turkey’s Exports Fall in Steepest Monthly Decline Since 2009

Turkey’s exports fell the most since September 2009 in May, as worsening trade with the European Union widened the trade deficit.

Exports fell an annual 18.8 percent to $11.1 billion, while imports fell 14.4 percent to $17.9 billion, Turkey’s state statistics office in Ankara said Tuesday in a statement. The $6.75 billion deficit exceeded the median estimate of $6.6 billion in a Bloomberg survey of economists.

A 21 percent decline in shipments to the European Union led the fall in exports, the data showed. Greece’s deepening financing crisis may further negatively impact Turkish trade, Ipek Ozkardeskaya, an analyst at London Capital Group, said by e-mail on Tuesday. Turkey is Greece’s fourth-biggest trading partner, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“The deficit in the trade balance could deepen given the gloomy economic outlook in the euro zone,” Ozkardeskaya said. “A potential Greek exit could stagnate the European recovery and impact Turkey’s exports negatively over the coming months.”

Among Turkey’s top ten export categories, only gold, precious metals and jewelry exports have increased this year. They’re up 69 percent to $7.2 billion, accounting for 12 percent of the nation’s total exports.

The lira erased earlier losses after the trade gap report was published and was little changed against the dollar at 2.6886 at 10:50 a.m. in Istanbul.

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