Looking to diversify and expand its market following the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war, Türkiye’s exports to African countries exceeded $21 billion last year, reaching record levels, according to official data.
According to dailysabah.com, sales to the continent increased by 12.3% compared to 2021, an Anadolu Agency (AA) report said Thursday, citing data from the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM) data.
While the share of foreign sales to African countries in total exports was 8.6% in 2022, African countries became the third country group to which Türkiye exported the most on the basis of country groups last year.
In 2022, Türkiye made foreign sales of $93.6 billion to EU countries and $32.8 billion to Middle East countries.
Among African countries, the countries that Türkiye exported the most to were Egypt with $3.9 billion, Morocco with $3 billion, Libya with $2.4 billion, Algeria with $1.9 billion and South Africa with $1.6 billion.
The record level of export figures came as Türkiye pushed for expanding into alternative markets in trade. Turkish exporters focused more on alternative markets with the start of the Russia-Ukraine war.
While there were losses in Türkiye’s exports to Russia and Ukraine at the beginning of the war, cancellations and postponements in orders were among the main factors that negatively affected the exports of the sectors to these two countries.
Sectors, which placed the products they could not export in the domestic market, took action to turn this situation into an opportunity despite the negative effects of the war and placed alternative markets on their radar with the start of the war.
While “increasing market diversity” became more important with the onset of the war, exporters who broke records in their exports to alternative markets began to reap the fruits of their work with the historical level reached in African exports.
Chemical materials top exports
Last year, from a sectoral point of view, the chemicals and products sector made the most exports to African countries. The sector made $4.2 billion in foreign sales to the region last year.
Chemicals and their products were followed by steel with $3.1 billion; cereals, pulses, oilseeds and products with $2.7 billion; the automotive industry with $1.4 billion, and electricity and electronics with $1.3 billion.
The sectors with the least exports to the region were ornamental plants and products with $1.6 million, other industrial products with $10.9 million, olive and olive oil with $13.6 million, fresh fruits and vegetables with $19.5 million, and ship yacht and services with $48.2 million.
In exports to African countries, chemical substances and products also led the way in the increase in exports on the basis of value. Last year, the sector’s export increase to African countries was $1.1 billion.
Exports to the region increased by $558.8 million in cereals, pulses, oilseeds and products; $439.2 million in the steel sector; $148.7 million in furniture, paper and forestry products, and $122.6 million in textiles and raw materials.
Türkiye “works hard” to strengthen its ties with all African countries and business relations are one of the top priorities, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said recently in a statement.
Çavuşoğlu is currently in Rwanda as part of a five-nation African tour that included South Africa, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Gabon, and Sao Tome and Principe.