Posted on: 07-03-2019

Turkey shipped US$168 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2018, up by 6.6% since 2014 and up by 7% from 2017 to 2018.

Based on estimates from the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, Turkey’s exported goods plus services represent 24.9% of total Turkish economic output or Gross Domestic Product. The analysis below focuses on exported products only.

From a continental perspective, 57% of Turkish exports by value are delivered to European countries while 24.9% are sold to Asian importers. Turkey ships another 8.4% worth of goods to Africa and 6.1% to North American customers. A much smaller percentage of Turkish exports arrived in Latin America (1.6%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean.

Given Turkey’s population of 81.3 million people, its total $168 billion in 2018 exports translates to roughly $2,100 for every resident in the Middle Eastern country.

Turkey’s unemployment rate was 11.6% as of October 2018 up from 10.3% one year earlier, according to Trading Economics.



Turkey’s Top 10 Exports

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Turkish global shipments during 2018. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Turkey.

  1. Vehicles: US$26.8 billion (15.9% of total exports)
  2. Machinery including computers: $15.8 billion (9.4%)
  3. Iron, steel: $11.6 billion (6.9%)
  4. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $9.1 billion (5.4%)
  5. Electrical machinery, equipment: $8.7 billion (5.2%)
  6. Gems, precious metals: $7.2 billion (4.3%)
  7. Articles of iron or steel: $6.5 billion (3.9%)
  8. Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $6.3 billion (3.7%)
  9. Plastics, plastic articles: $6 billion (3.6%)
  10. Mineral fuels including oil: $4.4 billion (2.6%)

Turkey’s top 10 exports accounted for three-fifths (60.9%) of the overall value of its global shipments.

The iron and steel metals category was the fastest-growing among Turkey’s top 10 export categories via its 40.6% increase from 2017 to 2018.

Lagging in second place were actual exported goods made from iron or steel, up 16.9%.

Exported machinery including computers posted the third-fastest gain in value up 14.5%, trailed by exported Turkish vehicles which improved 11.8%.

Only one top product category declined namely gems and precious metals which dropped -10.7% year over year, thanks mainly to diminished international sales of gold.

Note that the results listed above are at the categorized two-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level. For a more granular view of exported goods at the four-digit HTS code level, see the section Searchable List of Turkey’s Most Valuable Export Products further down below.

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