Despite the media animosity Egypt maintains its relationship with Turkey

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The Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics’ foreign trade bulletins have showed that Egypt and Turkey have maintained their commercial relationship and volume despite the media animosity and the statements exchanged to a point that suggested a military confrontation between the two countries is imminent. In line with the fluctuation of the global trade flow because of the coronavirus pandemic, Egyptian foreign trade also fluctuated, but it maintained the pace of commercial trade with Ankara which occupies very advanced positions in the ranking of the countries trading with Egypt.

Ankara is the third biggest importer from Egypt

The economic bulletin issued by the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics related to March data 2020 showed the trade volume between Cairo and Ankara during the first quarter of the current year. Ankara ranked third as a recipient of Egyptian exports. The bulletin indicated that Turkey possesses 5.8 per cent of the total Egyptian exports, the volume of which amounts to about $442.714 million compared to $530.389 million in the same period last year, with a difference of about $87.675 million.

The bulletin outlined the distribution of Egyptian exports to Turkey including petroleum products, like fuel, mineral oils, and petroleum distillates, whose value amounted to $63.239 million in the first three months of 2020 compared to $58.481 million in the same period of 2019. Similarly, the value of fertiliser exports was $70.765 million in contrast to $84.017 million. The exports also included synthetic fiber products with a value of $33.582 million during the first three months of the current year compared to $32.082 million during the same period of the previous year.

As for plastic exports to Turkey, they have declined to $56.020 million during the first quarter of this year compared to $109.165 million during the same period of 2019. On the other hand, Egypt’s cotton exports to Ankara increased in the first quarter of this year by about $4 million to amount to about $25.822 million compared to $21.975 million within the same period of the previous year.

Turkey is the fifth-biggest exporting country to Egypt

As for the reverse trade, Turkey ranked fifth among the world’s biggest countries exporting to Egypt. Turkish goods and industries accounted for five per cent of Egypt’s total imports with a total sum of $808.625 million in the course of the first three months of 2020 as opposed to $883.369 million in the course of the same period of 2019. The volume of Turkish products of iron and steel exported to Egypt within the first quarter of the current year increased to $112.349 million as opposed to $103.060 million within the same period of the previous year with a total increase of about $9.289 million. Likewise, the imports of boilers, machinery, and mechanical devices and their parts increased by about $7 million to reach $77.052 million compared to $70.635 million last year. Similarly, Egypt’s imports of Turkish vehicles, tractors, bikes, and parts increased to about $98.856 million as opposed to $69.790 million within the same period last year. On the contrary, the imports of fuels, mineral oils, and petroleum distillates declined to about $59.585 million compared to $155.914 million within the first quarter of the previous year.

The above concludes the first quarter of the year. As for the total trade flow between the two countries in the course of the first six months of the current year, like the rest of the world’s countries, the flow was clearly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Egyptian non-oil exports to Turkey during the first half of the current year amounted to $619 million as opposed to $774 million within the same period of 2019 with a 20 per cent decline.

The Egyptian Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics stated that Egypt’s total non-oil imports have declined by 21.18 per cent in the course of the first six months of this year and exports have also declined by 7.8 per cent during the same period. Egypt and Turkey maintain their commercial relationship despite their ongoing dispute over Libya as Ankara supports the Government of National Accord whose headquarters is the capital Tripoli, whereas Cairo supports the Libyan National Army led by the retired General Khalifa Haftar reinforced with the House of Representatives whose headquarters is in Tobruk in the country’s east.