World Economy

Turkey Gold Exports Reduce Trade Gap

Turkey Gold Exports Reduce Trade Gap Turkey Gold Exports Reduce Trade Gap

Turkey’s rocketing gold exports helped narrow the trade deficit to its lowest level since 2010.

The gap shrank 38 percent from a year ago in January to $4.31 billion, beating the median forecast of $4.6 billion in a Bloomberg survey of seven analysts.

Gold exports increased nearly six-fold to $1.3 billion during the same period, data by Turkey’s state statistics institute in Ankara showed today, Bloomberg reported.

The surge in gold sales limited the annual drop in exports to 0.6 percent while imports fell by 13.7 percent to $16.6 billion.

Switzerland was the top destination for exports of the precious metal, accounting for sales worth $982 million.

Turkey has in the past seen occasional spikes in the metal’s exports and the January jump in shipments will prove to be a temporary phenomenon, according to Deniz Cicek, an economist at Finansbank in Istanbul.

“Gold lies behind the pleasant surprise in January,” Oyak Bank chief economist Mehmet Besimoglu said by phone. “Exports would have fallen significantly if it wasn’t for gold.”

Excluding gold sales, Turkey’s exports last month fell by 9.5 percent from a year ago to $11 billion, according to a Bloomberg calculation based on the official data.

Shipments to the European Union, Turkey’s biggest trading partner, fell 3.4 percent to $5.3 billion.

While exports remained weak, imports fell for the fifth consecutive month. The drop in January was the biggest since October 2009 and driven largely by falling energy prices. The price of Brent oil fell more than 50 percent from its June 2014 peak to less than $50 a barrel last month.

After strengthening immediately after the data release, the lira weakened again and was trading 0.4 percent lower at 2.5135 per dollar at 11:49 a.m. in Istanbul. It reached a record low of 2.5150 per dollar at 11:44 a.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg.


The US Comex gold futures rebounded over one percent in the past two days to $1,210.10 on Thursday while the dollar Index also rose 0.85% and the euro/dollar plunged 1.25% in the same period.

This week, the Euro Stoxx 50 Index jumped 2.42% while the S&P 500 Index was flat and the crude oil futures were down 4.31%. The U.S. ten-year Treasury yield fell 8bp this week to 2.03% on Thursday while the ten-year German Bund yield fell 4bp to 0.323%.