By Yunus Turk
ISTANBUL (AA) - Turkey’s mining sector was the best performer in country’s exports with an annual increase of 47.21% in February -- $415.5 million.
The sector's exports also jumped by 25.71% in the first two months of this year to reach $768.8 million, according to Turkish Exporters' Assembly data.
Turkey's overall exports were $16.1 billion in February, up by 9.6% on a yearly basis.
Aydin Dincer, the head of Istanbul Mineral Exporters' Association (IMIB), said $278.9 million of overall mining exports were natural stones in February, up by 7.45% versus the same month last year.
"We care about the increase in natural stones because we are one of the four largest natural stone exporters of the world. Our goal is to increase our market share," Dincer told Anadolu Agency.
He stressed that the main destinations of the Turkish mining sectors are China, the US, Belgium, Spain, and Italy.
Last year, the sector was adapting to the “new normal” due to the pandemic, and that exports should be compared with 2019, instead of 2020, he said, adding: "During the first two months, our exports increased by 28% versus the same period of 2019."
Turkey ranks 10th in terms of the diversity of minerals in the world, and the country has 80 types of mines, 650 different colors and patterns of marble, and 150 different types of natural stone, Dincer said.
*Writing by Gokhan Ergocun in Ankara