ISTANBUL

Turkey’s automotive exports were $596 million last month, a fall of 77% from the same month in 2019, an exporter association said on Wednesday.

The decline stemmed from the novel coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the sector, the Uludag Automotive Industry Exporters’ Association noted in a press release.

Due to measures to tackle COVID-19, the automotive sector and suppliers had to halt production in recent months, the press release said.

In April, sector exports to the EU dropped 81% to $377 million, while exports to the UK fell 90.5%, to France 82%, to the US 70%, and to Germany 60%, on a yearly basis.

Car exports dropped 86% to $132 million, while supply industry exports fell 63% to $342 million.

Meanwhile, the country’s exports overall were $7.6 billion in the first four months of 2020, down 27% on an annual basis, also showing the worldwide impact of the virus for part of that period.

After originating in China last December, COVID-19 has spread to at least 187 countries and regions. Europe and the US are currently the worst-hit regions.

The pandemic has killed around 257,500 worldwide, with total infections over 3.67 million, while over 1.2 million patients have recovered, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

In Turkey, the virus has infected 129,491 people so far, while causing 3,520 deaths. Over 73,000 people have also recovered. 

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