UPDATE WITH MORE DETAILS
By Gokhan Ergocun
ISTANBUL (AA) - Turkey's exports dropped by 41.4% year-on-year in April to reach $8.99 billion, the country's statistical authority announced on Friday.
The country's imports also fell by 25% to stand at $13.55 billion in the month, versus the same month last year, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) said.
The foreign trade deficit was $4.56 billion in April, up 67% compared to April 2019, it said.
"In April 2020, the exports-covering-imports ratio was 66.3% while it was 84.9% in April 2019," TurkStat added.
The first COVID-19 case appeared in Turkey in March and the country had to take important measures to stem the spread of the virus domestically.
Strong measures, such as lockdowns, closing borders, and restricting trade of strategic medical goods -- masks, respirators, or disinfectant -- affected deeply the country's exports.
The institute said in April the manufacturing sector's share of exports was 92.7%, while agriculture, forestry, and fishing's share was 4.2%, and mining and quarrying's share was 2.7%.
In manufacturing industries, the share of high-tech products was up by 43% year-on-year to reach 4.6% for exports and rose by 33.1% to 15.4% for imports.
In April, intermediate goods took the lion’s share, with 73.8% of overall exports, followed by capital goods (15.6%) and consumption goods (10.3%).
Last month, Germany remained Turkey’s largest export destination, with exports amounting to $862 million.
The US, Iraq, Italy, and the U.K. were other largest export destinations with $605 million, $564 million, $400 million, and $361 million, respectively.
China was the main source of Turkey's imports last month with $1.56 billion, followed by Germany ($1.43 billion), Russia ($1.2 billion), the US ($746 million), and South Korea ($588 million).
Foreign trade statistics are calculated using two different methods: the special and the general trade systems.
The general trade system is a wider concept, including customs warehouses, all types of free zones, free circulation areas, and premises for inward processing.
According to the special trade system, exports were $8.44 billion in April 2020, and imports were $12.44 billion.
Meanwhile, the country's exports dropped by 13.7% to reach $51.66 billion in the first four months of 2020, while imports increased 1% to reach $69.2 billion on a yearly basis.
Turkey's exports totaled $167.92 billion and imports were $171.53 billion in 2019.