Turkey’s Top 10 Exports

Turkey’s Top 10 Exports

Wikimedia Commons

Turkey shipped US$168 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2018, up by 6.6% since 2014 and up by 7% from 2017 to 2018.

From a continental perspective, 57% of Turkish exports by value are delivered to European countries while 24.9% are sold to Asian importers. Turkey ships another 8.4% worth of goods to Africa and 6.1% to North American customers. A much smaller percentage of Turkish exports arrived in Latin America (1.6%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean.

Given Turkey’s population of 81.3 million people, its total $168 billion in 2018 exports translates to roughly $2,100 for every resident in the Middle Eastern country.

In macroeconomic terms, Turkey’s total exported goods represent 7.3% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2018 ($2.293 trillion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 7.3% for exports to overall GDP per PPP in 2018 compares to 9.4% for 2014, seeming to indicate a relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Turkey’s total economic performance. And while this article focuses on exported goods, it is interesting to note that Turkey also provided $48.8 billion worth of exports-related services to global customers for an additional 2.1% of GDP in PPP.

Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Turkey’s unemployment rate was 14.1% as of April 2019 up from 9.6% one year earlier, according to Trading Economics.

Turkey’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Turkish global shipments during 2018. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Turkey.

  1. Vehicles: US$26.8 billion (15.9% of total exports)
  2. Machinery including computers: $15.8 billion (9.4%)
  3. Iron, steel: $11.6 billion (6.9%)
  4. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $9.1 billion (5.4%)
  5. Electrical machinery, equipment: $8.7 billion (5.2%)
  6. Gems, precious metals: $7.2 billion (4.3%)
  7. Articles of iron or steel: $6.5 billion (3.9%)
  8. Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $6.3 billion (3.7%)
  9. Plastics, plastic articles: $6 billion (3.6%)
  10. Mineral fuels including oil: $4.4 billion (2.6%)

Turkey’s top 10 exports accounted for three-fifths (60.9%) of the overall value of its global shipments.

The iron and steel metals category was the fastest-growing among Turkey’s top 10 export categories via its 40.6% increase from 2017 to 2018.

Lagging in second place were actual exported goods made from iron or steel, up 16.9%.

Exported machinery including computers posted the third-fastest gain in value up 14.5%, trailed by exported Turkish vehicles which improved 11.8%.

Only one top product category declined namely gems and precious metals which dropped -10.7% year over year, thanks mainly to diminished international sales of gold.

Note that the results listed above are at the categorized two-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level. For a more granular view of exported goods at the four-digit HTS code level, see the section Searchable List of Turkey’s Most Valuable Export Products further down below.


The following types of Turkish product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.

In a nutshell, net exports represent the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.

  1. Vehicles: US$12.9 billion (Up by 97.5% since 2017)
  2. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $8.4 billion (Up by 4.1%)
  3. Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $5.2 billion (Up by 12.9%)
  4. Articles of iron or steel: $3.7 billion (Up by 40.9%)
  5. Fruits, nuts: $3.4 billion (Up by 0.8%)
  6. Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefab buildings: $2.3 billion (Up by 26.2%)
  7. Textile floor coverings: $2.2 billion (Up by 5.2%)
  8. Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $2.1 billion (Down by -1.2%)
  9. Miscellaneous textiles, worn clothing: $1.9 billion (Up by 3.3%)
  10. Vegetable/fruit/nut preparations: $1.8 billion (Up by 2.1%)

Turkey has highly positive net exports in the international trade of cars, trucks and tractors. In turn, these cashflows indicate Turkey’s strong competitive advantages under the knit or crochet clothing product categories.


Overall Turkey posted a -$55 billion deficit on all products for 2018. That amount is a -28.4% reduction from the -$76.8 billion in red ink one year earlier.

Below are exports from Turkey that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Turkey’s goods trail Turkish importer spending on foreign products.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: -US$38.6 billion (Up by 17.3% since 2017)
  2. Machinery including computers: -$9.9 billion (Down by -25.5%)
  3. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$7.8 billion (Down by -40%)
  4. Plastics, plastic articles: -$6.9 billion (Down by -11.5%)
  5. Iron, steel: -$6.8 billion (Down by -20%)
  6. Gems, precious metals: -$5.4 billion (Down by -18%)
  7. Organic chemicals: -$5.3 billion (Up by 12.9%)
  8. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$3.8 billion (Down by -8.8%)
  9. Pharmaceuticals: -$3.2 billion (Down by -10.7%)
  10. Cereals: -$1.9 billion (Up by 21.3%)

Turkey has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits under the mineral fuels including oil category, and in particular for processed petroleum oils, coal and petroleum gases.

These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Turkey’s competitive disadvantages in the international fossil fuel market, but also represent key opportunities for Turkey to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovations.


Turkish Export Companies

Based on Forbes Global 2000 rankings, the following companies are examples of leading Turkish companies:

  • Koç Group (industrial conglomerate)
  • Sabanci Holding (automotive, banking)
  • Turkcell (mobile phones)
  • Enka (construction services)
  • Anadolu Efes (brewery, non-alcoholic drinks)

Global trade intelligence firm Zepol lists the following firms exporting from Turkey:

  • Anadolu Dokum San (cast iron/steel articles)
  • Cevikler Dis Ticaret (monumental/building stone)
  • Evimteks Dis Tic Ve Paz (woven fabrics, facial tissues)
  • MCE Cargo (steam condensers, plywood)
  • Ulus Metal San Ve Tic (chain sprockets, transmission components, auto parts)


Turkey’s capital city is Ankara.

Searchable List of Turkey’s Most Valuable Export Products

At the more granular four-digit HTS code level, Turkey’s top export products are cars followed by gold, trucks then jewelry.

The following searchable table displays 200 of the most in-demand goods shipped from Turkey during 2018. Shown beside each product label is its total export value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2017.

RankTurkey's Export Product2018 Value (US$)Change
1Cars$12.4 billion+5.3%
2Trucks$5.3 billion+10.1%
3Automobile parts/accessories$4.5 billion+10.3%
4Jewelry$4.4 billion+6.7%
5Processed petroleum oils$3.7 billion+1.7%
6Iron or non-alloy steel bars, rods$3.4 billion+30.3%
7T-shirts, vests (knit or crochet)$2.8 billion-2.6%
8Women's clothing (not knit or crochet)$2.7 billion+11%
9Gold (unwrought)$2.6 billion-60.8%
10Hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products$2.4 billion+69.2%
11Insulated wire/cable$2.1 billion+11.5%
12Refrigerators, freezers$2 billion+9.3%
13Jerseys, pullovers (knit or crochet)$1.9 billion+7.7%
14Textile floor coverings, carpets$1.9 billion+3.6%
15Public-transport vehicles$1.8 billion+10.8%
16Piston engine parts$1.6 billion-2.5%
17TV receivers/monitors/projectors$1.5 billion+1.3%
18Miscellaneous furniture$1.5 billion+14.1%
19Men's suits, trousers (not knit or crochet)$1.5 billion+3.4%
20Rubber tires (new)$1.4 billion+20.2%
21Tractors$1.3 billion+75.6%
22Miscellaneous iron or steel tubes, pipes$1.3 billion+9.9%
23Women's clothing (knit or crochet)$1.2 billion+6.7%
24Miscellaneous iron and steel structures$1.2 billion+15.9%
25Linens$1.2 billion-1.5%
26Miscellaneous nuts$1.2 billion-8.6%
27Iron or non-alloy steel angles, shapes, sections$1.1 billion+42.1%
28Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$1.1 billion+12.4%
29Stockings, hosiery (knit or crochet)$1.1 billion+2.2%
30Washing machines$1.1 billion+7.6%
31Coiled iron or non-alloy steel bars, rods$1 billion+60%
32Electric water heaters, hair dryers$1 billion+11.2%
33Flat-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (plated/coated)$1 billion+42.2%
34Plastic packing goods, lids, caps$1 billion+13.5%
35Wheat or meslin flour$1 billion-4.1%
36Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries$1 billion+6.4%
37Seats (excluding barber/dentist chairs)$956.3 million+12.5%
38Monument/building stones including marble$944.3 million-14.4%
39Monument/building stones, art$942.2 million+1.7%
40Fresh or dried citrus fruit$890.3 million+4.4%
41Miscellaneous iron or steel items$857.5 million+12.1%
42Other than warp-knit fabrics$825.1 million-0.4%
43Aluminum bars/rods$824.2 million+22.2%
44Synthetic yarn woven fabrics$804.6 million-1.5%
45 Dishwashing, clean/dry/fill machines $766 million+19.1%
46Electrical converters/power units$736.8 million+1.2%
47Miscellaneous preserved fruits$726.1 million-4.6%
48Sanitary towels, baby napkins/liners$719.2 million+3.5%
49Carbonates, percarbonates$718.4 million+70.5%
50Women's shirts (not knit or crochet)$702.7 million+0.7%
51Medication mixes in dosage$702.6 million+8.3%
52Synthetic filament yarn$673.8 million+11.3%
53Aircraft parts$653.4 million-0.3%
54Vulcanized rubber items$650.1 million-2.3%
55Trailers$641.9 million+45.3%
56Aluminum plates, sheets, strips$637.7 million+21.4%
57Hydraulic cements$614.3 million+15.8%
58Grapes (fresh or dried)$611.3 million+1.3%
59Unglazed ceramic flags, tiles$597.8 million+8.4%
60Coated/laminated non-wovens$592.7 million+23.8%
61Taps, valves, similar appliances$585.5 million+16.2%
62Copper wire$584.1 million+22.7%
63Yarn wash/clean/iron machines$576.6 million+25.8%
64Poultry meat$568.5 million+8%
65Men's shirts (not knit or crochet)$568.2 million+2.6%
66Pasta, couscous$552.8 million+12.7%
67Plastic tubes, pipes, fittings$551.3 million+5.5%
68Liquid pumps and elevators$542.9 million+22.3%
69Central heating boilers$527.8 million+15.2%
70Paper containers, cellulose wadding$523.9 million+11.3%
71Base metal mountings, fittings$523.3 million+8.3%
72Vulcanized rubber tubes, pipes$506.3 million+21.3%
73Chocolate, other cocoa preparations$504.6 million+10.1%
74Cruise/cargo ships, barges$502.3 million-26.2%
75Yarn (85%+ cotton)$502.3 million+16.6%
76Lower-voltage switches, fuses$495.5 million+7%
77Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels$490.6 million+6.3%
78Machinery parts$486.7 million+15.3%
79Whole fish (fresh)$472.2 million+7.6%
80Iron and steel screws, bolts, nuts, washers$470.3 million+28.7%
81Turbo-jets$470 million+27.1%
82Wide knit or crochet fabrics$469.5 million-3.5%
83Iron or non-alloy steel products (semi-finished)$469.1 million+34.1%
84Cigars/cigarellos, cigarettes$468.8 million-2.3%
85Women's blouses, shirts$467.1 million+0.5%
86Central heating radiators$457.6 million+7.3%
87Uninsulated copper wire, cables$450 million+13.2%
88Woven fabrics (85%+ cotton)$449.1 million-8.1%
89Zinc ores, concentrates$448.7 million+15.6%
90Sugar confectionery (no cocoa)$446.3 million-2.3%
91Transmission shafts, gears, clutches$441.6 million+20.5%
92Polyacetal/ether/carbonates$440 million+10.6%
93Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$438.7 million+5.5%
94Plastic tableware, kitchenware, toiletry$437.5 million+9.7%
95Air or vacuum pumps$433.8 million+16%
96Birds' eggs in shell$430.3 million+14.4%
97Centrifuges, filters and purifiers$427.8 million+13.5%
98Sun/safflower/cotton-seed oil$423 million-23.2%
99Miscellaneous plastic items$415.6 million-0.5%
100Aluminum foil (thin)$413.6 million+30.1%
101Sort/screen/washing machinery$409.5 million+25.6%
102Footwear (leather)$404.9 million+23.8%
103Blood fractions (including antisera)$393.8 million+140.5%
104Other food preparations$389.5 million+11.8%
105Electric storage batteries$386.8 million+29.5%
106Men's suits,trousers (knit or crochet)$385.2 million+8.3%
107Miscellaneous machinery$383.3 million+11%
108Unmanufactured tobacco, tobacco waste$382.9 million+9.5%
109Other organic cleaning preparations$376.5 million+7.3%
110Household/sanitary rolls$362.7 million+15.5%
111Packing sacks, bags$357.8 million+5.9%
112Ligneous fiberboard including wood$353.2 million+1.8%
113Iron and steel stoves, barbecues$352.3 million+1.8%
114Organic surface-active goods, soap$350 million-2.1%
115Dried shelled vegetables$343.8 million+15.1%
116Iron and steel tubes, pipes$333.1 million+168%
117Cold-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products$332.6 million+22.1%
118Machine-tool for metal$327.2 million+15.8%
119Glassware$325.8 million-3.8%
120Air conditioners$318.1 million+54.1%
121Apricots, cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums$312 million+5.1%
122Engines (diesel)$309.6 million+50.7%
123Chromium ores, concentrates$306.5 million-11.1%
124Dates/figs/pineapples/mangoes/avocadoes/guavas$300.6 million-2%
125Piston engines$299.8 million+0%
126Tufted carpets/textile floor coverings$299.7 million+15.1%
127Iron or non-alloy steel wire$297.6 million+74.5%
128Monofilament, rods, sticks, profiles$295.8 million+9.9%
129Tomatoes (fresh/chilled)$290 million-0.1%
130Electrical lighting/signaling equpment, defrosters$281 million+9.5%
131Dried fruit$281 million-3.7%
132Fruit and vegetable juices$279.4 million+29.4%
133Synthetic staple fiber yarn$279 million-15.2%
134Miscellaneous aluminum items$277 million-1.9%
135Borates, concentrates$275.4 million+3.9%
136Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers)$265.6 million+100.2%
137Cleaning/sorting/grading machines$265 million+0%
138Aircraft, spacecraft$264.1 million-70%
139Moulding boxes/base$261.7 million+1.4%
140Ceramic sinks, washbasins$258.5 million+12%
141Miscellaneous cast iron or steel items$253.6 million+28.5%
142Flat-rolled stainless steel items$252.9 million+15.9%
143Women's underwear, pajamas (knit or crochet)$252.7 million+4.6%
144Iron and steel tables, household items$252.3 million+7.8%
145Temperature-change machines$251 million+14.9%
146Woven fabrics$250 million+9.6%
147Woven cotton fabrics$249.3 million+0.1%
148Men's shirts (knit or crochet)$245.7 million-0.1%
149Plastic builders' items$242.3 million+10.8%
150Acrylic polymers$241.2 million+16%
151Olive oil$239.7 million+19.6%
152Vinegar-preserved vegetables, fruits, nuts$236.1 million+1.5%
153Bridge structures, parts$234.1 million+7.8%
154Alloy steel bars, rods$234 million+41.7%
155Artificial staple fibers woven fabrics$233.1 million+29.8%
156Lamps, lighting, illuminated signs$232.1 million+0%
157Electro-medical equip (e.g. xrays)$227.2 million+11.2%
158Jams, jellies, marmalades, purées$227 million-11.8%
159Lifting/loading machinery$223 million+26.4%
160Chemical industry products/residuals$222.3 million+26.5%
161Iron ferroalloys$219.2 million-11.7%
162Iron or steel scrap$218.8 million+15.7%
163Safety glass$216.3 million+9.8%
164Prefabricated buildings$211.9 million+26.2%
165Yeasts, prepared baking powders$211.6 million+1.3%
166Personal toilet/shaving preparations, deodorants$211.1 million+2.3%
167Rubber/plastic article making machines$211.1 million+24.8%
168Glaze/graft putty, cement, filling$207.1 million+29.1%
169Feldspar, leucite, nepheline$206.9 million+15%
170Fish fillets, pieces$205.9 million+1.5%
171Other prepared/preserved vegetables (non-frozen)$204.9 million+12.5%
172Uncoated paper$204 million+23.7%
173Cellulose fiber paper$203.5 million-2.2%
174Woven fabrics (mixed)$200.7 million+1.3%
175Mattresses, quilts$198.7 million+18%
176Footwear (rubber or plastic)$197 million+3.8%
177Phone system devices $195.3 million-0.5%
178Lead ores, concentrates$194.5 million+9.4%
179Tomatoes (prepared/preserved)$192.8 million+6.1%
180Non-alcoholic drinks (not water/juice/milk)$192.5 million+18.2%
181Special purpose vehicles$191.1 million+77.4%
182Electric generating sets, converters$191 million-6.6%
183Warp knit fabrics$190.1 million-1.5%
184Miscellaneous fresh/chilled vegetables$187.7 million+24.3%
185Man-made staple fiber yarn$183.9 million-5.1%
186Infant clothing (knit or crochet)$180.6 million-0.3%
187Particle board, other ligneous materials$179.9 million+30%
188Cotton (uncarded, uncombed)$178.6 million+54.4%
189Woven pile/chenille fabrics$177.3 million-2.4%
190Women's singlets,pyjamas (not knit or crochet)$176.9 million-12.2%
191Electric motor parts$172.1 million+74.4%
192Aluminum household articles, sanitary ware$171 million+18.3%
193Cases, handbags, wallets$170.7 million+19%
194Copper plates, sheets, strips$169.7 million+32.3%
195Beauty/makeup/skin care preparations$169.3 million-3.2%
196Cheese, curd$166.5 million+8.4%
197Industrial preparation machinery$166.5 million+18.4%
198Footwear (textile)$163.9 million+17.7%
199Hair preparations$161.3 million+3.6%
200Electric motors, generators$160.7 million+9.7%

These 200 exported goods were worth a subtotal of US$140.4 billion or 83.5% by value for all products exported from Turkey during 2018.

See also Turkey’s Top 10 Exports, Turkey’s Top 10 Imports and Turkey’s Top Trading Partners

Research Sources:
Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on February 6, 2019

International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on June 27, 2019

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on February 6, 2019

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on June 27, 2019

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on February 6, 2019

Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on June 27, 2019

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Turkey. Accessed on February 6, 2019

Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on June 27, 2019

World’s Richest Countries, Targeted research > Enriching insights > Global opportunities (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on June 27, 2019

Zepol’s Company summary highlights by country. Accessed on February 6, 2019