UPDATE WITH MORE DETAILS AND QUOTES FROM TIM CHAIRMAN
By Tuba Sahin
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey's exports rose 16.3 percent on a yearly basis to reach nearly $12.2 billion in January, the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM) announced on Thursday.
According to TIM, the figure was the third-best January export number of all time.
On a quantity basis, Turkish exports also rose 9.8 percent to reach 9.7 million tons during the same period.
TIM noted that exports in the last 12 months had reached $158 billion, a 10.1 percent rise year-on-year.
"We’ll break through the $160 billion mark in one or two months, and get past $170 billion by the end of the year," said Mehmet Buyukeksi, TIM’s chairman.
Buyukeksi noted that the upward trend of euro/dollar parity in January had helped the export figures.
The average EUR/USD rate was 1.22 on average in January 2018, versus an average of 1.06 in the same month of last year.
In January, the automotive sector took up the largest percentage of exports with $2.27 billion, up 10.8 percent over the same month last year, the association said.
The apparel and chemical sectors followed with $1.43 billion and $1.35 billion, respectively, TIM said.
Olive and olive oil exports saw the highest annual increase, skyrocketing 153 percent in the month.
Turkey's top five export destinations in January were Spain, the U.S., Germany, Italy and the U.K., TIM data showed.
Compared to January 2017, the country's exports to Spain rose 30.9 percent, to the U.S. 20.4 percent, to Germany 18 percent, to Italy 17 percent, and to the U.K. 11.4 percent.
Among the top 20 countries receiving Turkish exports in September, export to Greece went up the most, soaring 79.9 percent, according to TIM.
Exports to Turkey’s main trading partner, the EU, showed a 22.6 percent annual increase, the association said.
"Thus, the EU’s share of exports in January rose to 52.6 percent," it said.