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Turkey’s exports to UK surge in Q1 following post-Brexit FTA

Turkish exporters have seen a noteworthy surge in exports to the United Kingdom from January to March this year following the signing of a post-Brexit free trade agreement (FTA).

Exports to the UK rose by 12.7 per cent to reach $2.7 billion, making it the country’s second-biggest market in the first quarter of the year, according to statistics from the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM).

Ankara and London inked the FTA in the last days of 2020 to support a trade partnership worth around $25 billion.

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The deal became effective from January 1, when the UK formally left the European Union.

The current pact is expected to be expanded to include areas such as investments and services, according to a report in a Turkish newspaper.

The UK received over $1 billion worth of Turkish goods in March alone, the data showed, a 33.1 per cent year-on-year surge, making it Turkey’s third-biggest export market in the month after Germany and the United States.

Overall, Turkey’s sales from January through March have surged 17.3 per cent year on year to over $50 billion, marking the highest first-quarter figure ever.

Sales soared by 42.2 per cent year on year in March alone to $18.98 billion, an all-time monthly high. Imports were up 25.8 per cent to $23.68 billion.

The United States came in third with nearly $2.71 billion, a rise of $716.27 million from a year ago. Exports to Italy increased by $449.91 million to $2.5 billion, while those to France and Spain were up $451.93 million and $361.14 million to $2.13 billion and around $2 billion, respectively.

On the other hand, sales to Saudi Arabia all but dried up as exports plunged by 93 per cent on an annual basis to $56 million, down from $810.6 million in the January-March period of 2020.

Exports to Saudi Arabia in March plunged to just $19 million, the TIM data showed, collapsing 93.7 per cent year on year from around $298.23 million a year ago.

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