Economist Aghasi Tavadyan stated in an interview with 1in.am that in the last three months there has been a significant increase in exports to Turkey, whereas nothing was exported there before.
“… The statistics of the import of goods from Turkey are also interesting. In the last two years, the import of goods from Turkey has decreased quite a bit (about 40 percent in the last two years), and, what is more interesting is that in the last two months we have a significant increase in exports to Turkey (more than 20 million dollars), while before we did not export anything to Turkey,” mentioned the economist.
The Fact Investigation Platform tried to find out how much the trade turnover with Turkey was, and whether there really was an increase in exports to Turkey, and if so, due to which products this increase was recorded.
It should be noted as a reminder that the land border between Armenia and Turkey has been closed since 1993. There are no diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The import of goods from Turkey has been reduced
The statement that the import of goods from Turkey has significantly decreased in the last two years is true.
Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that during the 44-day war the import of goods of Turkish origin was prohibited by executive order, taking into account Ankara’s undisguised support to Baku during the war. The ban came into force on December 31, 2020. Since December 2021, the government has lifted the ban on the import of goods of Turkish origin.
According to the data provided by the Statistical Committee of Armenia, in 2018, about $162 million worth of goods were imported from Turkey, while in 2019 the amount was $150 million.
Since 2020, the import of Turkish goods has been drastically reduced, reaching $99 million, and in 2021 – $33 million. In the first half of 2022, the import of goods from Turkey has recorded an increase, however not at the previous pace. About $34 million worth of goods have been imported within 6 months.
If we consider the import of goods of Turkish origin, it has also decreased.
In 2018, about 252.5 million dollars of Turkish goods were imported; in 2019 – 268 million, in 2020 – 231.5 million; in 2021 – 73 million.
In the first half of 2022, 98 million dollars worth of products of Turkish origin were imported.
There is an unprecedented growth of exports to Turkey
In the first half of 2022, the volume of export of goods from Armenia to Turkey increased sharply.
According to the National Statistical Committee, in the first six months of 2022, only $20.5 million worth of goods were exported from Armenia to Turkey, which is unprecedented. In 2021, only $443 thousand worth of goods were exported, in 2020 – 500 thousand, in 2019 – $2.2 million, in 2018 – $2.5 million.
Gold is the main export commodity
According to the data of the RA Customs Service, in the first half of 2022, 353.1 kg of raw gold or gold dust was exported from Armenia to Turkey, with a total value of $20 million 167 thousand.
Prior to that, no gold was exported to Turkey, and it is due to the volume of the exported gold that such an increase in exports was recorded.
In addition, $115,400 worth of cattle hides and other products were exported to Turkey, however, the volume of the products is insignificant compared to the other types of products exported to Turkey.
Raw gold export and import of Armenia
In general, in the first half of 2022, 2514.8 kg of gold dust was exported from RA, with a total price of 93 million 929,700 dollars. Last year, during the same period, 1428.5 kg of unprocessed gold was exported from Armenia, worth 53 million 653,700 dollars.
In the first half of 2022, 692.2 kg of raw gold was imported to the country, worth 37 million 915.4 thousand dollars, almost the same amount was imported in the first half of 2021- 640.5 kg, worth $36 917.8.
Thus, the amount of raw gold exported from Armenia in the first six months of 2022 was 1822.6 kg. It should be noted that semi-finished gold is also exported from Armenia, which later undergoes final processing in different countries..
The export markets for Armenian gold have changed recently.
Thus, in the first half of 2022, raw gold was exported to 3 countries: the United Arab Emirates, India and Turkey.
As mentioned above, 353.1 kg of raw gold worth 20 million 167 thousand dollars was exported to Turkey. 63.7 kg of raw gold worth 3 million 703,000 dollars was exported to the United Arab Emirates. In the same period last year, the same amount was exported – 67.9 kg raw gold, worth $3,262,900. 2090 kg of gold worth 69 million 541,300 dollars was exported to India. Last year it was 1358 kg gold worth 50 million 240,300 dollars.
It should be noted that since 2017, the largest consumer of Armenian gold was Switzerland, before that it was Canada, and since 2020 new major export destinations have appeared – India and the UAE.
Since 2022, neither Switzerland nor Canada has exported gold from Armenia, instead a new export market has emerged – Turkey.