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Turkey’s Tops in Export

The Republic of Turkey shipped US$169.5 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2020. Given Turkey’s population of 84.2 million people, and its total $169.5 billion in 2020 exports translates to roughly $2,000 for every resident in the Middle Eastern country.

From a continental perspective, 55.7% of Turkey’s exports by value were delivered to European countries while 26% were sold to Asian importers. Turkey shipped another 9% worth of goods to Africa. Smaller percentages went to North America (6.9%), Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean (1.7%) then Oceania led by Australia, Marshall Islands, and New Zealand (0.7%).

Top 10 Products

The following table displays the top 10 product groups with the highest dollar value in Turkish global shipments during 2020. Also shown the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Turkey.

Product Group Value (Billion  Dollar) Percentage (of total exports)
Vehicles 22 13.0%
Machinery including computers 17 9.9%
Electrical machinery, equipment 9 5.5%
Iron, steel 9 5.2%
Knit or crochet clothing, accessories 8 4.9%
Plastics, plastic articles 7 4.1%
Gems, precious metals 7 3.9%
Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet) 7 3.9%
Articles of iron or steel 6 3.8%
Fruits, nuts 5 2.9%

Turkey’s top 10 exported products for under three-fifths (57.1%) of the overall value of its global shipments.

The Fruits and nuts group was the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up by 15.6% year over year since 2019. In second place for improving export sales was plastics and items made from plastic which rose 10.7%. Turkey’s electrical machinery and equipment shipments posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 6.5% year over year.

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The leading decliner among Turkey’s top 10 export categories was its number 1 product export vehicles which fell -15.6%.

Top 15 Countries

The following table displays 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 2020. Also shown each import country’s percentage of total Turkish exports.

Country Name Value (Billion  Dollar) Percentage (of total exports)
Germany 16 9.4%
United Kingdom 11 6.6%
United States 10 6.0%
Iraq 9 5.4%
Italy 8 4.8%
France 7 4.2%
Spain 7 3.9%
Netherlands 5 3.1%
Israel 5 2.8%
Russia 5 2.7%
Romania 4 2.3%
Belgium 4 2.1%
Poland 4 2.0%
Egypt 3 1.8%
China 3 1.7%

Close to three-fifths (58.8%) of Turkish exports in 2020 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.

Among the above countries, the United States led in increasing its import purchases from Turkey thanks to a 26.6% gain from 2019 to 2020. In second place was Russia with a 16.7% improvement, trailed by Belgium (up 11.6%) and China (up 10.8%).

Leading the trade partners that reduced their imports from Turkey year over year were Spain (down -12.5%) and Italy (down -13%).

Top 10 Increasing Groups

The following table displays the top 10 increasing product groups shipped from Turkey during 2020. Also shown each product group’s total export value, and the percentage increase since 2019.

Product Group Value (Million  Dollar) Percentage of increase
Unknit special fabric garments 19.4 4684%
Miscellaneous articles, dress patterns 130.3 330%
Dried shelled vegetables 259.5 128%
Electro-medical equip 237.4 98%
Sun/safflower/cotton-seed oil 443.1 66%
Soap 347.3 51%
Blood fractions 433.6 51%
Apricots, cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums 328.8 41%
Hydraulic cements 876.4 39%
Gold (unwrought) 2001 39%
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