Imports of goods into Ukraine incurred a total cost of US$56.8 billion in 2018, up 4.5% since 2014 and rising 15% from 2017 to 2018.
Ukrainian imports represent 0.3% of total global imports which totaled an estimated $17.788 trillion as of January 21, 2019.
From a continental perspective, about two-thirds (66.2%) of Ukraine’s total imports by value in 2018 were purchased from fellow European countries. Asian trade partners supplied 26% of import purchased by Ukraine while 6.1% worth of goods originated from North America. Smaller percentages came from Africa (1.3%), Latin American countries (1.1%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, and Oceania (0.1%) led by Australia and New Zealand.
Given Ukraine’s population of 44 million people, its total $56.8 billion in 2018 imports translates to roughly $1,300 in yearly product demand from every person in the Eastern European nation.
Ukraine’s Top 10 Imports
The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Ukraine’s import purchases during 2018, at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Ukraine.
- Mineral fuels including oil: US$13.1 billion (23% of total imports)
- Machinery including computers: $6.5 billion (11.4%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $5.5 billion (9.6%)
- Vehicles: $4.2 billion (7.4%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: $2.7 billion (4.8%)
- Pharmaceuticals: $1.9 billion (3.4%)
- Iron, steel: $1.4 billion (2.4%)
- Other chemical goods: $1.3 billion (2.4%)
- Fertilizers: $973.5 million (1.7%)
- Articles of iron or steel: $966.7 million (1.7%)
Ukraine’s top 10 imports accounted for over two-thirds (68.5%) of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.
The electrical machinery and equipment was Ukraine’s fastest-growing import category via its 32.6% expansion from 2017 to 2018.
The second-fastest gainer was the iron and steel metals category up by 20.5%, closely trailed by the 20% increase for Ukraine’s imported articles made from iron or steel.
Fertilizers posted the sole decline year over year among the top 10 Ukrainian import categories, down -13.6%.
Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level. Information presented under other virtual folder tabs is at the more granular 4-digit level.
Drilling down to the more detailed 4-digit HTS codes, Ukraine’s costliest imported goods are refined petroleum oils (9.7% of the total), petroleum gases (6.2%), coal including solid fuels made from coal (5.3%), motor cars (3.9%), drugs and medicines (2.7%) then mobile phones (1.7%) and packaged insecticides, fungicides and herbicides (also 1.7%).
In 2018, Ukrainian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of mineral fuels-related energy products.
- Processed petroleum oils: US$5.5 billion (up 33.3% from 2017)
- Petroleum gases: $3.5 billion (down -1.5%)
- Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $3 billion (up 10.8%)
- Crude oil: $433.4 million (down -1.7%)
- Petroleum oil residues: $288 million (up 57.4%)
- Coke, semi-coke: $251.7 million (down -43.9%)
- Asphalt/petroleum bitumen mixes: $16.2 million (up 72.6%)
- Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $11.7 million (down -21.6%)
- Distilled tar: $10.9 million (up 497.9%)
- Tar pitch, coke: $7.8 million (up 38.9%)
Among these import subcategories, Ukrainian purchases of distilled tar (up 497.9%), asphalt or petroleum bitumen mixes (up 72.6%) then petroleum oil residues (up 57.4%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of mineral fuels-related energy imports among Ukrainian businesses and consumers.
In 2018, Ukrainian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machinery including computers.
- Computers, optical readers: US$600.8 million (up 14.4% from 2017)
- Nuclear reactors, fuel elements: $526.7 million (up 15.8%)
- Harvest/threshing machinery: $334.2 million (down -30.4%)
- Soil preparation/cultivation machinery: $309.3 million (down -3.8%)
- Refrigerators, freezers: $253.7 million (up 20.2%)
- Centrifuges, filters and purifiers: $243.1 million (up 11.9%)
- Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers): $225.1 million (up 37.1%)
- Taps, valves, similar appliances: $211.5 million (up 17.6%)
- Liquid pumps and elevators: $189.3 million (up 17.9%)
- Transmission shafts, gears, clutches: $181.7 million (up 15.7%)
Among these import subcategories, Ukrainian purchases of heavy machinery such as bulldozers, excavators and road rollers (up 37.1%), refrigerators and freezers (up 20.2%) then liquid pumps and elevators (up 17.9%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of machinery -related imports among Ukrainian businesses and consumers.
In 2018, Ukrainian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of electronics.
- Phone system devices including smartphones: US$986.7 million (up 2.2% from 2017)
- Solar power diodes/semi-conductors: $661 million (up 304.9%)
- Insulated wire/cable: $607.5 million (up 14.6%)
- Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $368.2 million (up 13.5%)
- TV receivers/monitors/projectors: $294.7 million (up 34.8%)
- Electric water heaters, hair dryers: $278 million (up 26.9%)
- Electrical converters/power units: $246.2 million (up 60.2%)
- Integrated circuits/microassemblies: $236.1 million (up 22.4%)
- Electric generating sets, converters: $207.9 million (up 102.6%)
- Insulating fitting: $178.5 million (up 8%)
Among these import subcategories, Ukrainian purchases of solar power diodes and semi-conductors (up 304.9%), electric generating sets and converters (up 102.6%) then electrical converters and power units (up 60.2%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of electronics-related imports among Ukrainian businesses and consumers.
In 2018, Ukrainian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of vehicles.
- Cars: US$2.2 billion (up 8.7% from 2017)
- Tractors: $639.7 million (down -7.7%)
- Automobile parts/accessories: $407.9 million (up 18.3%)
- Trucks: $385.4 million (up 4.1%)
- Trailers: $176.7 million (up 2.3%)
- Special purpose vehicles: $144.7 million (up 3.1%)
- Public-transport vehicles: $68.3 million (up 50.5%)
- Automobile bodies: $67.1 million (up 18.2%)
- Motorcycles: $28.3 million (up 21.9%)
- Motorcycle parts/accessories: $17 million (up 81.7%)
Among these import subcategories, Ukrainian purchases of motorcycle parts or accessories (up 81.7%), public-transport vehicles (up 50.5%) then motorcycles (up 21.9%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of vehicles-related imports among Ukrainian businesses and consumers.
See also Ukraine’s Top Trading Partners, Ukraine’s Top 10 Exports and Capital Facts for Kiev, Ukraine
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook report on Europe: Ukraine. Accessed on September 10, 2019
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on September 10, 2019
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on September 10, 2019