By Tuba Sahin
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey's foreign trade volume grew 3.6% year-on-year to $98.4 billion in the first quarter of 2020, according to a preliminary Trade Ministry data released Thursday.
The country's exports volume was choked off by coronavirus in January-March after seeing 4% rise in the first two months, the ministry said in a statement.
The figure dropped 3.9% on a yearly basis to $42.8 billion in the first three months of this year.
Imports climbed 10.3% to nearly $55.7 billion, amounting to a foreign trade deficit of $12.9 billion over the same period.
The data also showed that the exports-to-imports coverage ratio in the first three months of this year was at 76.9%, down from 88.2% in the same quarter of 2019.
In March, Turkey's exports narrowed 17.8% compared to a year earlier, reaching $13.4 billion.
The quarantine restrictions enacted at the borders, especially neighboring countries Iraq and Iran, and market and demand shrinkage in EU states were the main culprits of the decline in exports in March, the statement said.
The country's imports totaled $18.8 billion last month, rising 3% on an annual basis.
After first appearing in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December, the virus has spread to at least 180 countries and regions.
The global death toll from the virus has hit over 47,200 with more than 938,300 confirmed cases and 194,400 recoveries, according to the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.