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The crisis in Syria has devastated its economy, including the country’s standing in international trade. Syrian trade peaked in 2010 at a value of USD 31 billion, only to fall to a mere USD 9 billion in 2013. Border crossings have become insecure and previous trade partners have gone to more stable locations to do business.

Syria imports and exports 2009 to 2013
Source: UN Comtrade

That is, with one exception: Turkey. Turkey’s exports to Syria doubled in value from 2012 to 2013. In doing so the country supplanted China as the top exporter to Syria. And in 2014, despite hostile forces coming within a mile of the Turkish border, traders have found a market for their goods in Syria, most notably in July where exports spiked above USD 300 million.

Turkey monthly exports to Syria 2013 to 2014
Source: Turkish Statistical Institute

The reason for this rise in Turkey-Syria trade appears to be food. Conflict has disrupted Syrian agriculture, and Turkish food suppliers, enticed by higher prices, have rushed to fill the void. They may be some of the only beneficiaries of the fighting.