Turkey’s Top Trading Partners

Turkey's Top Trading Partners

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The Republic of Turkey is strategically located at an intersection between Western Asia and Southeastern Europe. The transcontinental nation shares its borders with eight countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Greece, Georgia, Iran, Iraq and Syria.

Turkey shipped US$142.6 billion worth of products around the globe in 2016. That figure represents roughly 0.9% of overall global exports estimated at $16.236 trillion for 2015.

From a continental perspective, 54.8% of Turkey’s total exports by value in 2016 were delivered to other European trade partners. Asian importers purchased 28.8% of Turkish shipments while 8% worth arrived in African countries. At 5.5%, a smaller portion of Turkish exports were bought by North American importers.

Turkey’s Top Trading Partners

Top 15

Below is a list showcasing 15 of Turkey’s top trading partners in terms of export sales. These are countries that imported the most Turkish shipments by dollar value during 2016. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Turkish exports.

  1. Germany: US$14 billion (9.8% of total Turkish exports)
  2. United Kingdom: $11.7 billion (8.2%)
  3. Iraq: $7.6 billion (5.4%)
  4. Italy: $7.6 billion (5.3%)
  5. United States: $6.6 billion (4.6%)
  6. France: $6 billion (4.2%)
  7. United Arab Emirates: $5.4 billion (3.8%)
  8. Spain: $5 billion (3.5%)
  9. Iran: $5 billion (3.5%)
  10. Netherlands: $3.6 billion (2.5%)
  11. Saudi Arabia: $3.2 billion (2.2%)
  12. Israel: $3 billion (2.1%)
  13. Egypt: $2.7 billion (1.9%)
  14. Switzerland: $2.7 billion (1.9%)
  15. Romania: $2.7 billion (1.9%)

Close to two-thirds (60.8%) of Turkish exports in 2016 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.

Among the above countries, Iran led in increasing its import purchases from Turkey up in value by 145.4% from 2009 to 2016. In second place was the United States with a 104.9% improvement, followed by the United Kingdom (up 97.5%) and Israel (up 93.4%).

Two top trade partners decreased their imports from Turkey, namely Switzerland (down -31.9%) trailed by France (down -2.9%).

Deficits

As defined by Investopedia, a country whose total value of all imported goods is higher than its value of all exports is said to have a negative trade balance or deficit.

It would be unrealistic for any exporting nation to expect across-the-board positive trade balances with all its importing partners. Similarly, that export countrydoesn’t necessarily post a negative trade balance with each individual partner with which it exchanges exports and imports.

In 2016, Turkey incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries:

  1. China: -US$23.1 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2016)
  2. Russia: -$13.4 billion
  3. Germany: -$7.5 billion
  4. South Korea: -$5.9 billion
  5. India: -$5.1 billion
  6. United States: -$4.2 billion
  7. Japan: -$3.6 billion
  8. Italy: -$2.6 billion
  9. Czech Republic: -$1.8 billion
  10. Malaysia: -$1.7 billion

Among Turkey’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances in 2016, five expanded Turkish country-specific deficits by double-digit increases: India (up 244.9%), Czech Republic (up 226%), China (up 108.9%), Malaysia (up 104.4%), South Korea (up 103.6%).

These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Turkey’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Turkey to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.

Surpluses

Based on Investopedia’s definition of net importer, a country whose total value of all imported goods is lower than its value of all exports is said to have a positive trade balance or surplus.

In 2016, Turkey incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries:

  1. Iraq: US$6.8 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2016)
  2. United Kingdom: $6.4 billion
  3. United Arab Emirates: $1.7 billion
  4. Israel: $1.6 billion
  5. Saudi Arabia: $1.3 billion
  6. Egypt: $1.3 billion
  7. Algeria: $1.3 billion
  8. Syrian Arab Republic: $1.3 billion
  9. Azerbaijan: $1 billion
  10. Georgia: $965.4 million

Among Turkey’s trading partners that generate its greatest positive trade balances, Turkish surpluses with Saudi Arabia (up 1,590%), Israel (up 242.5%), United Kingdom (up 159.7%) and Georgia (up 109.7%) grew at the fastest pace from 2009 to 2016.

These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Turkey’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Turkey to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.

Companies

Companies Servicing Turkish Trading Partners

Based on Forbes 2015 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)


 
See also Highest Value Turkish Export Products, Turkey’s Top 10 Exports and Turkey’s Top 10 Imports

Research Sources:
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on February 28, 2016

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on February 13, 2017

Investopedia, Net Importer Definition. Accessed on February 13, 2017

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on February 13, 2017

Zepol’s company summary highlights by country. Accessed on February 13, 2017