Turkey's exports in December shrunk 25 percent compared with the same period of 2007 due to the decline in international demand caused by the global economic crisis, local newspaper Today's Zaman reported on Saturday.
"The number of Turkish exports in 2008 was 127.5 billion U.S. dollars, with 7.1 billion dollars in December alone," said the report, citing figures published by the Turkish Exporters Assembly here in Ankara.
According to the report, the exports of agricultural products saw a moderate rise in December. Exporters of agricultural products managed to increase their earnings by 4.6 percent and sold goods worth 1.2 billion dollars to external markets.
However, the industrial sector, which is responsible for 81.5 percent of total exports, only registered 5.8 billion dollars in revenue from sales abroad.
"This number is a 28.95 percent drop compared to exports in the same category in December 2007," it said.
Meanwhile, the mining industry also suffered a 28 percent loss in their exports, earning only 155 million dollars in December.
In 2008, the largest share of exports revenue came from trade with Germany, said the report, adding that it was followed by Britain, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, Russia, France, Spain, the United States, Romania and Iraq.
Although the global economic crisis are becoming increasingly severe as they spread rapidly to non-financial sectors and cause a slump in demand, the initial targets were successfully surpassed with 131.5 billion dollars in exports, said the report, quoting Foreign Trade Minister Kursad Tuzmen.
The global crisis has shown its impact on exports, he said, claiming that "if the crisis had not erupted, our exports would probably be 136 billion dollars."
The minister also foresaw a major decline in international trade in 2009 with an exports target of 109 billion dollars, largely because of falling demand in foreign markets amid the global crisis.
He also predicted that Turkish exports would recover in 2010, based on the positive developments in global economic conditions.