Ukraine’s Top 10 Exports

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A sovereign state in Eastern Europe, Ukraine exported US$47.4 billion worth of goods in 2018. That dollar amount reflects a -12.1% decline since 2014 but a 9.1% improvement from 2017 to 2018.

From a continental perspective, 55.8% of Ukrainian exports by value were delivered to fellow European countries while 31.7% were sold to Asian importers. Ukraine shipped another 8.7% worth of goods to Africa. Smaller percentages went to North America (2.8%), Latin America (0.6%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, then Oceania (0.1%) including Australia and the Marshall Islands.

Given Ukraine’s population of 44 million people, its total $47.4 billion in 2018 exports translates to roughly $1,100 for every resident in the Eastern European nation.

In macroeconomic terms, Ukraine’s total exported goods represent 12.1% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2018 ($390.3 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 12.1% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2018 compares to 12.6% for 2014, seeming to indicate a relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Ukraine’s total economic performance. And while this article focuses on exported goods, it is interesting to note that Ukraine also provided $15.8 billion worth of exports-related services to global customers for an additional 4% of GDP in PPP.

Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Ukraine’s unemployment rate was 9.2% at March 2019 down from 9.7% one year earlier, according to Trading Economics.

Ukraine’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Ukrainian global shipments during 2018, at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Ukraine.

  1. Iron, steel: US$9.9 billion (21% of total exports)
  2. Cereals: $7.2 billion (15.3%)
  3. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $4.5 billion (9.5%)
  4. Ores, slag, ash: $3 billion (6.4%)
  5. Electrical machinery, equipment: $2.9 billion (6.2%)
  6. Oil seeds: $2 billion (4.1%)
  7. Machinery including computers: $1.7 billion (3.7%)
  8. Wood: $1.5 billion (3.2%)
  9. Food industry waste, animal fodder: $1.2 billion (2.6%)
  10. Articles of iron or steel: $1.1 billion (2.4%)

Ukraine ’s top 10 exports accounted for 74.3% of the overall value of its global shipments.

Articles of iron or steel was the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up by 25.1% year over year since 2017.

In second place for improving export sales was Ukrainian wood which was up by 24%.

Ukraine ‘s shipments of food industry waste and animal fodder posted the third-fastest gain in value via its 16.6% expansion.

The leading decliner among Ukraine’s top 10 export categories was oil seeds: which fell -5.1%

From the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, crude sunflower-seed or safflower oil represent Ukraine ’s most valuable exported product at 8.7% of the country’s total. In second place was corn (7.4%) trailed by wheat (6.3%), semi-finished iron or non-alloy steel products (also 6.3%), iron ores and concentrates (6.1%), hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (4.6%), insulated wire or cable (3.1%), pig iron (2.2%), rape or colza seeds (2.1%) then iron ferroalloys (also 2.1%).


The following types of Ukrainian product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.

In a nutshell, net exports represent the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.

  1. Iron, steel: US$8.6 billion (Up by 13.8% since 2017)
  2. Cereals: $7 billion (Up by 11.5%)
  3. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $4.2 billion (Down by -2.6%)
  4. Ores, slag, ash: $2.5 billion (Up by 16.2%)
  5. Oil seeds: $1.6 billion (Down by -8.5%)
  6. Wood: $1.2 billion (Up by 24.5%)
  7. Food industry waste, animal fodder: $1 billion (Up by 14.3%)
  8. Meat: $478.8 million (Up by 14.1%)
  9. Inorganic chemicals: $446.3 million (Up by 10.6%)
  10. Dairy, eggs, honey: $375.4 million (Down by -8.4%)

Ukraine has highly positive net exports in the international trade of iron and steel. In turn, these cashflows indicate Ukraine’s strong competitive advantages under the iron and steel materials category.


Overall Ukraine incurred a -$9.5 billion trade deficit in 2018, up 57.5% from -$6 billion in red ink one year earlier.

Below are exports from Ukraine that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Ukraine’s goods trail Ukrainian importer spending on foreign products.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: -US$12.2 billion (Up by 13.6% since 2017)
  2. Machinery including computers: -$4.7 billion (Up by 18.6%)
  3. Vehicles: -$4.1 billion (Up by 7.1%)
  4. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$2.5 billion (Up by 61.1%)
  5. Plastics, plastic articles: -$2.1 billion (Up by 4.8%)
  6. Pharmaceuticals: -$1.7 billion (Up by 9.9%)
  7. Other chemical goods: -$1.2 billion (Up by 5.1%)
  8. Fertilizers: -$903.1 million (Reversing a $101.4 million surplus)
  9. Rubber, rubber articles: -$772.9 million (Up by 12%)
  10. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$768.8 million (Up by 25.6%)

Ukraine has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for mineral fuels-related products, particularly refined petroleum oils, petroleum gases and coal.


Ukrainian Export Companies

The following companies are selected examples of leading companies headquartered in Ukraine. Wikipedia lists the biggest exporters from Ukraine. Selected examples are shown below:

  • Metinvest (mining, metals)
  • Naftohaz of Ukraine (oil, gas)
  • Aeromeh (aircraft)
  • Azovstal iron and steel works (iron, steel)
  • Bogdan group (automobile maker)
  • Chumak (food processing)
  • EKTA (LED displays, imaging equipment/software)
  • Motor Sich (engines)
  • Ukrainian Automobile Corporation (automobile maker)
  • Ukrtatnafta (refined oil)
  • Zaporizhstal (steel)


Ukraine’s capital city is Kiev.

See also Ukraine’s Top Trading Partners, Ukraine’s Top 10 Imports and Capital Facts for Kiev, Ukraine

Research Sources:
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook report on Europe: Ukraine. Accessed on April 22, 2019

Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on April 22, 2019

International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on June 29, 2019

International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on June 29, 2019

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on April 22, 2019

Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on June 29, 2019

Wikipedia, List of the biggest companies of Ukraine. Accessed on April 22, 2019

Wikipedia, List of companies of Ukraine. Accessed on April 22, 2019

Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on June 29, 2019

Wikipedia, Ukraine. Accessed on April 22, 2019