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Turkey’s trade deficit widens 76.7 percent in March on energy import costs

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Turkey’s trade deficit surged 76.7 percent year-on-year in March to $8.24 billion, Reuters reported on Monday, citing the Trade Ministry, mainly due to a 156 percent rise in energy import costs.

Turkey’s exports rose 19.8 percent to $22.71 billion in March, while imports rose 31 percent to $30.95 billion, data also showed.

Trade Minister Mehmet Muş said a $16.3 billion increase in energy imports — equal to an annual rise of 188 percent — in the first three months of the year had led the rise in total imports.

Muş said energy imports stood at $8.4 billion in March, for a total of $25 billion in the first three months of 2022.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sent global commodity prices soaring, threatening to derail Ankara’s new economic program that aims to record a current account surplus.

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