Tense relations between Israel and Turkey are weighing on local companies as exports between the two countries dropped 40 percent in the first nine months of the year and Turkish companies failed to pay debt, Israel Credit Insurance Company reported Wednesday. "In recent months we are seeing an exceptional rise in arrears by Turkish companies to pay Israeli exporters debt owed," ICIC CEO David Milgrom said Wednesday. "Debt collection in Turkey is fairly complicated. Whereas in the past the banks in Turkey were providing important information on businesses in difficulties, in the recent period they are refusing to do so, which is making credit management of suppliers even harder." ICIC has been insuring credit since 1957 and is the leading credit insurer in Israel. Today it insures sales totaling more than $12 billion annually, in both local and foreign trade transactions. Israeli exports to Turkey totaled $800 million in the first nine months of this year, down 40% from $1.3 billion in the same period last year, ICIC reported. The drop in Israeli exports to Turkey was nearly double the rate of decline in total Israeli exports, which were down 22% in the January-September period, it said. Metals, chemicals and plastics accounted for most of the decline in exports to Turkey, it added. A drastic deterioration in late debt payments by Turkish customers to Israeli exporters also took place, ICIC reported. The volume of debt-payment arrears by Turkish companies rose by 90% in the January-September period, and total debt owed to Israeli exporters stands at $40m., it said. The volume of the rise in debt arrears encompassed all sectors that export to Turkey, it added. Debt-payment arrears occur when payments are not made more than 30 days after the credit conditions agreed upon between Israeli exporters and their customers, ICIC said.