Turkey's exports to European Union countries showed a 21.5 percent annual hike this January-April, the country's statistical authority announced on Thursday.
TurkStat noted that EU member countries' share of Turkey's exports was 51.5 percent in the four-month period, reaching $28.4 billion, while imports from the 28-member EU bloc were $30.3 billion, up 23.3 percent annually.
Germany was the top export market for Turkey with $5.6 billion, followed by the United Kingdom ($3.5 billion) and Italy ($3.4 billion) over the same period.
Turkey's top three import partners this January-April were Russia ($7.9 billion), China ($7.8 billion), and Germany ($7.4 billion).
Official data showed that Turkey's total exports totaled some $55 billion in the same period, a 8.6 percent year-on-year rise, and imports rose 20.8 percent to $82.5 billion.
The country's foreign trade balance showed a $27.4 billion deficit from January to April, a yearly increase of 56.2 percent.
In the four-month period, the top sector for Turkey's exports was vehicles and their parts — excluding railway or tramway rolling-stock — with $9.3 billion.
The country imported mineral fuels, minerals oils, and product of their distillation the most this January-April, totaling $13.4 billion.
TurkStat also said manufacturing industry products made up 93.8 percent of total exports in the same period, while intermediate goods took first place in imports with 75.9 percent.
Turkey's exports reached their peak in 2014 — $157.6 billion — but came close to that last year, with nearly $157 billion, according to TurkStat.
Over the past five years, the highest proportion of imports covered by exports was seen in 2016 with 71.8 percent, while the country's foreign trade deficit fell from $99.8 billion in 2013 to $76.8 billion last year.
"In April 2018, exports were $13.9 billion, a 7.8 percent increase, and imports were $20.6 billion, a 15.6 percent increase compared with the same month last year," the institute said.
"Last month, the foreign trade deficit was $6.7 billion, with a 35.6 percent yearly increase," it said. "Exports coverage imports was 67.5 percent, while it was 72.3 percent in April 2017."
Exports of consumption goods rose 10.9 percent on a yearly basis — the highest increase among broad economic categories — and Turkey's imports of intermediate goods were up 20.3 percent compared to same month last year.
As for economic activities, exports of fisheries saw the best performance in April — a 20.1 percent yearly rise — while imports of agriculture, hunting, and forestry climbed the most, up 21.3 percent year-on-year.
"Compared with the same month last year, exports to the EU-28 increased by 22 percent from $5.7 billion to some $7 billion," TurkStat said. "The proportion of the EU countries was 50.7 percent in April 2018 while it was 44.8 percent in April 2017."
TurkStat will release its next foreign trade report on June 29.