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Turkish Defense Industry Export Performance as of Sept 2020

According to August 2020 defense industry export figures released by the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM), the total export figure, which was US$ 1.240 billion in the first eight months of the year, showed an increase of approximately US$ 281 million on a monthly basis in September, and the export revenue of the Turkish Defense Industry in the first nine months on an annual basis was US$ 1.521 billion.

Issue 101

Defense Industry Foreign Sales Revenue in 2019 (the export amounts of the items passing through customs and included in the harmonized codes plus the total of foreign exchange earning services such as engineering support activities, etc.) was calculated as US$ 3.088 billion in the sector performance report published by the Turkish Defense Industry Manufacturers Association (SaSaD). Following this record figure, Turkey made a good start in 2020 and defense industry exports in the first two months of 2020 showed a 5% increase compared to the same period of the previous year and amounted to US$ 166 million in January and US$ 174 million in February, with a grand total of US$ 340 million. While superior export performance is expected in 2020, upon the global declaration of the Covid-19 outbreak as a pandemic on March 11, the subsequent border closures, production, logistics and supply chains, and promotion and marketing activities coming to a halt, defense industry exports decreased sharply as of March by 49.5% compared to the same month of the previous year.  

According to the Turkish Exporters Assembly’s data released on a sectoral basis, defense industry exports were recorded as US$ 141.697 million in March 2020, US$ 160.675 million in April, US$ 112.408 million in May, US$ 167.276 million in June, US$ 139.608 million in July and US$ 177.466 million in August, amounting to US$ 1.240 billion in the first eight months of 2020.

During the first eight months of 2019, the export figures were US$ 174.498 million in January, US$ 157.657 million in February, US$ 282.567 million in March, US$ 197.033 million in April, US$ 248.778 million in May, US$ 207.582 million in June, US$ 234 million in July and US$ 175 million in August, amounting to US$ 1.677 billion in total.

The sharp declines around 30-45% on an annual basis in March-April-May-June-July 2020 compared to the previous year were analyzed to have partially recovered in August compared to March-July 2020 on a monthly and annual basis, and the decline rate on an annual basis was recorded as 26% compared to the previous year.

While defense industry exports totaled US$ 281 million on a monthly basis in September 2020 according to TIM sectoral data, it is seen that this positive recovery on a monthly basis is reflected positively on the September export figures on an annual basis, and the decline rate was recorded as 18% compared to the same period of the previous year. In light of such rates where a partial recovery is seen, if the upward trend in export figures keeps the same pace for the last 3 months of the year, the annual decline rate is expected to further decrease