Turkey's foreign trade deficit doubled between January and May as exports fell by 20 percent. The monthly trade deficit also doubled in May, surpassing $3 billion.
A truck accident in Turkey's northern province of Rize revealed that more than 20 tons of tea was being imported to the nation's capital of tea production. While a lawyer said he would file an official complaint about the imports, an opposition lawmaker presented parliamentary questions to the trade minister, inquiring about the source of the imports.
Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said that it will not be easy to import goods apart from those considered essential during the coronavirus pandemic, which has battered the economy of Turkey and its trading partners. He added that the amount of support credit funds that have been distributed in Turkey due to the pandemic has reached the 252 billion TL mark.
An opposition deputy criticized Turkey's Trade Ministry's move to increase import taxes on Iranian watermelons by 300 percent. The lawmaker noted that the tax spike also applies to watermelons that are currently being transported, leaving merchants unable to pay for goods that they carried across borders.
Turkey’s foreign trade deficit increased by 180 percent within the past year, as COVID-19 prevention measures decreased exports dramatically, with imports remaining stable. The ratio of exports to imports dropped by nearly 20 percent in the past year.