The Republic of Turkey shipped US$169.5 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2020. That dollar amount reflects an 18.8% increase since 2016 but a -0.9% drop from 2019 to 2020.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2020, the Turkish lira depreciated by -132.6% against the US dollar since 2016 and declined by -23.8% from 2019 to 2020. Turkey’s weaker local currency makes its exports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively less expensive for international buyers.
Turkey’s biggest export products by value in 2020 were cars, automotive parts or accessories, trucks, refined petroleum oils and jewelry. In aggregate, those major exports account for 15% of overall exports sales from Turkey. That percentage suggests a relatively diversified range of exported goods.
The latest available country-specific data shows that 53.3% of products exported from Turkey were bought by importers in: Germany (9.4% of the global total), United Kingdom (6.6%), United States (6%), Iraq (5.4%), Italy (4.8%), France (4.2%), Spain (3.9%), Netherlands (3.1%), Israel (2.8%), Russia (2.7%), Romania (2.3%) and Belgium (2.1%).
From a continental perspective, 55.7% of Turkey’s exports by value were delivered to European countries while 26% were sold to Asian importers. Turkey shipped another 9% worth of goods to Africa. Smaller percentages went to North America (6.9%), Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean (1.7%) then Oceania led by Australia, Marshall Islands and New Zealand (0.7%).
Given Turkey’s population of 84.2 million people, its total $169.5 billion in 2020 exports translates to roughly $2,000 for every resident in the Middle Eastern country.
Turkey’s Top 10 Exports
- Top 10
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Turkish global shipments during 2020. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Turkey.
- Vehicles: US$22.1 billion (13% of total exports)
- Machinery including computers: $16.8 billion (9.9%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $9.3 billion (5.5%)
- Iron, steel: $8.8 billion (5.2%)
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $8.4 billion (4.9%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: $7 billion (4.1%)
- Gems, precious metals: $6.7 billion (3.9%)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $6.6 billion (3.9%)
- Articles of iron or steel: $6.4 billion (3.8%)
- Fruits, nuts: $4.8 billion (2.9%)
Turkey’s top 10 exports accounted for under three-fifths (57.1%) of the overall value of its global shipments.
Fruits and nuts was the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up by 15.6% year over year since 2019. In second place for improving export sales was plastics and items made from plastic: which rose 10.7%. Turkey’s shipments of electrical machinery and equipment posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 6.5% year over year.
The leading decliner among Turkey’s top 10 export categories was its number 1 product export vehicles which fell -15.6%.
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.
Searchable List of Turkey’s Most Valuable Export Products
The following searchable table displays 100 of the most in-demand goods shipped from Turkey during 2020. Shown beside each product label is its total export value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2019.
These 100 exported goods were worth a subtotal of US$111.2 billion or 65.8% by value for all products exported from Turkey during 2020.
In macroeconomic terms, Turkey’s total exported goods represent 7.1% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2020 ($2.382 trillion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 7.1% for exports to overall GDP per PPP in 2020 is less than the 7.3% one year earlier, seeming to indicate a relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Turkey’s total economic performance.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Turkey’s unemployment rate was 12.9% in November 2020, down from an average 13.831% for 2020 according to the International Monetary Fund.
Turkey’s capital city is Ankara.
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