Turkey's energy imports were up by 35 percent in the January-September period compared to the same period of 2016, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute's (Turkstat) data Wednesday.
The data showed that Turkey's imports over this period totaled $168 billion in comparison to $146 billion during the same period last year.
Of this $168 billion, energy imports accounted for $26 billion between January and September this year. In the same period of 2016, this number totaled $19 billion.
The country aims to increase the share of local resources, such as coal and renewables, in its energy mix and has recently speeded up steps towards this goal to decrease its energy import bill. However, the recent upward trend in oil prices negatively affected its bill.
The main reason behind this 35 percent increase is oil prices, which have risen substantially compared to the same period last year, Volkan Ozdemir, head of the Institute for Energy Markets and Policies told Anadolu Agency.
"Despite the fact that there is a very small increase in the amount of oil and natural gas imported during this period, the oil prices in the international markets have risen a lot. The average Brent oil price in 2016 was $43 to $44 per barrel," he explained.
Ozdemir added that the average Brent oil price this year is expected to be $55 per barrel, which reflected on Turkey's energy import bill.
"We expect this increase to continue in October as the oil price was around $55 to $60 per barrel and even exceeded $60 dollars per barrel," he asserted.
If oil prices continue to be in the region of $60 per barrel and above by the end of the year, increases in the country's energy import bill will arise, according to Ozdemir.
"I foresee that by the end of the year, Turkey's energy import bill will be nearly $40 billion," he concluded.
By Ebru Sengul
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