Beginning from March, people’s lives became upside down in Turkey. The world has one focus point called “Covid-19”. Naturally, health concerns for our lives and for the loved ones are prior to all other concerns. On the other hand, there is one question in most minds; what will happen now economical aspects? One way or another, this health crisis will be over but what about the economic crisis? What is the scope of the economic damage Turkey took? Is everyone aware of the danger they are in?

Since Turkish domestic market has come to a full stop due to all quarantine cautions, isolations and restricts, employers are trying to find their ways by focusing on export. However, according to the data of Trademap, export has decreased 17.81 % in March 2020 compared to March 2019 in Turkey. Based on March 2019 export data, only one year ago from now, Turkey’s export value was approximately 15.5 billion dollars. However, today’s March data is only 13.5 billion dollars.

Despite the Covid-19 has shown its impact in March, many other countries affected before Turkey. The world’s affection can be noticed from Turkey’s 4% decreased January-March export data which is 42.8 billion of dollars. Actually, before January, the first decrease was observed in December 2019 and starting from late November-December Turkey also can be counted as “economically affected”. The mentioned decrease can be seen in Graph-1.

The greatest reason for this negative growth and decreased export observed in the first quarter of 2020 is of course the Covid19. Taken cautions, decreased demands caused a market shrinkage in notably Turkey’s neighbor countries like Iraq, Iran and then EU countries.

Differently from export values, Trademap values show that there is an increase of 3% in import. For March 2020, Turkey’s partners in import are Germany and the USA.

When the coverage rate of Turkey’s export values to import values for March 2020 are checked, calculations result the rate as 71,3%. This ratio means foreign trade deficit in March is approximately 5 Billion dollars. If 2019 March is compared to 2020 March, numbers give a declining line of %6,76.

Even though values are declined, still Turkey continues to export. So, one wonders who continues to be active when the whole world is almost stopped. According to the data provided by the Ministry of Commerce of Turkey, first place belongs to the “Vehicles other than railway or tramway rolling stock, and parts and accessories “sector in the list of most exporting sectors for March. Second place is owned by” Machinery, mechanical appliances, nuclear reactors, boilers; parts” and as third “Electrical machinery and equipment and parts” follows. For January, the order is given as Vehicles, Machinery, Iron & Steel, Clothing and Electrical Machinery for again most exporting sectors in Turkey.

Lastly, Turkey’s partner countries in export of March 2020 are Germany, USA and England, which can be seen in Graph3.

On the other hand, when Turkey’ partner countries for import are checked, Germany, USA and China can be seen as top three for March 2020. Declining lines of March 2020 and January to March 2020 line are given in Graph 4.

Additionally, Turkey’s export to the USA has increased by %11,97 in March 2020 compared to March 2019. For the same comparison, Turkey’s export has increased by %6 for Russia and %5,80 for the Netherlands.

Else, Iraq, Italy, Spain, Germany and France were the top 5 countries in terms of Covid19 epidemic that showed the greatest decrease in their exports in March 2020 compared to March 2019(shown in Graph5). The share of these five countries in Turkey’s total exports was 29.50% in March 2019, but decreased to 24.68% in March 2020.

Similarly, Turkey’s export to EU countries has decreased by % 22, 26 in March 2020 compared to March 2019.

However, an increase in exports of 136.1% to Venezuela, 35.1% to Pakistan, 31.5% to Turkmenistan and 12.0% to the USA in March 2020 is observed as a positive detail.

So it is true that the Covid19 has changed our lives upside down, but it may also lead to some positive changes and new markets for Turkey.

Wishing you to find the undiscovered opportunities in “down side”. 🙂