Turkey’s energy bill up 15.6 percent in 2018
Turkey’s bill for energy imports in 2018 increased by nearly 15.6 percent compared to 2017, the Turkish Statistical Institute (Turkstat) reported Wednesday. Turkstat’s annual data for 2018 show that the nation paid $42.99 billion for energy imports last year compared to $37.20 billion in 2017.
Energy accounted for 19.2 percent of Turkey’s total import costs in 2018. The country’s total showed a 4.6 percent decrease in imports, amounting to $223 billion.
Turkey imports 90 percent of its oil demand and 99 percent of its demand for natural gas. Energy experts say that a hike in oil prices was the main reason for the increase in the country’s energy import bill last year. The international benchmark price for Brent Crude hit a yearly high of $86.74 per barrel on October 3. In 2017, Brent Crude’s highest per-barrel price amounted to just $64.27 on November 6.
Between May and December 2018, oil prices were highly influenced by the U.S. decision to impose sanctions on Iran. This came along with OPEC’s move to rebalance the market and escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China.
Turkey’s energy import bill for next year is predicted to be $45 billion. However, this amount would be determined by developments in U.S. shale production, as well as world economic growth. The slowing of economic growth, accompanied with increased U.S. shale production, causes a downward trend in prices. On the other hand, sanctions on Iran, developments in Venezuela and production cuts by OPEC and non-OPEC members leads to an upward trend. Some volatility in the markets in 2019 is certainly possible.
Turkey’s energy import bill was $60.1 billion in 2012, and gradually decreased in the following years. Energy imports totalled $55.91 billion in 2013, $54.90 billion in 2014, $37.84 billion in 2015, and $27.15 billion in 2016, according to Turkstat’s data.
Electr c ty mports down 33 percent n 2018
On the other hand, Turkey’s electricity imports in 2018 decreased by 33 percent compared to the previous year, according to TurkStat’s data. The numbers show that Turkey paid nearly $57.03 million for electricity imports in 2018, compared to $85.50 million in 2017. The amount of electricity imported last year reached nearly 1.38 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh), compared to 1.66 billion kWh in 2017.
Turkey bought electricity from five countries - Greece, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Georgia and Azerbaijan, out of which Bulgaria held the biggest share of electricity exports to Turkey. Turkey bought nearly 1.01 billion kWh of electricity from Bulgaria out of a total 1.38 billion kWh in 2018, paying $42.20 million to its neighbor. Georgia followed Bulgaria, selling 239.95 million kWh of electricity for which Turkey paid nearly $8.58 million. Azerbaijan, Greece and the Czech Republic followed with 73.61, 35.71 and 24.14 million kWh of electricity imports, respectively. Turkey paid $3.54 million to Azerbaijan, $1.62 million to Greece and $1.05 million to the Czech Republic for its electricity needs last year.