Ukraine shipped US$47.4 billion worth of products around the globe in 2018. That figure represents roughly 0.3% of overall global exports estimated at $17.546 trillion as of February 9, 2019.
Applying a continental lens, 55.8% of Ukrainian exports by value were sold to fellow European countries while 31.7% were sent 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.
Ukraine’s Top 15 Trading Partners
Below is a list showcasing 15 of Ukraine’s top import partners, countries that imported the most Ukrainian shipments by dollar value during 2018. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Ukrainian exports.
- Russia: US$3.7 billion (7.7% of total Ukrainian exports)
- Poland: $3.3 billion (6.9%)
- Italy: $2.6 billion (5.6%)
- Turkey: $2.4 billion (5%)
- Germany: $2.2 billion (4.7%)
- China: $2.2 billion (4.7%)
- India: $2.2 billion (4.6%)
- Hungary: $1.6 billion (3.5%)
- Netherlands: $1.6 billion (3.4%)
- Egypt: $1.6 billion (3.3%)
- Spain: $1.4 billion (2.9%)
- Belarus: $1.3 billion (2.8%)
- United States: $1.1 billion (2.4%)
- Romania: $934.1 million (2%)
- Czech Republic: $878.4 million (1.9%)
Approaching two-thirds (61%) of Ukrainian exports in 2018 were delivered to the above 15 trading partners.
Year-over-year export sales gains ranged from a minimum of 3.6% for China up to 33.5% for the United States.
Egypt led the top importer that decreased its purchases from Ukraine from 2017 to 2018, down in value by -15%.
Overall Ukraine incurred a -$9.5 billion trade deficit for 2018, expanding by 57.5% from -$6 billion in red ink one year earlier.
As defined by Investopedia, a country whose total value of all imported goods is higher than its value of all exports is said to have a negative trade balance or deficit.
It would be unrealistic for any exporting nation to expect across-the-board positive trade balances with all its importing partners. Similarly, that export country doesn’t necessarily post a negative trade balance with each individual partner with which it exchanges exports and imports.
Ukraine incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries:
- China: -US$5.4 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2018)
- Russia: -$4.4 billion
- Germany: -$3.7 billion
- Belarus: -$2.5 billion
- United States: -$1.9 billion
- Switzerland: -$1.4 billion
- France: -$937 million
- Lithuania: -$534.5 million
- Japan: -$505.2 million
- Sweden: -$395.1 million
Among Ukraine’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Ukrainian deficits with Lithuania (up 76.8%), China (up 53.5%) and Russia (up 36.2%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Ukraine’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Ukraine to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.
Based on Investopedia’s definition of net importer, a country whose total value of all imported goods is lower than its value of all exports is said to have a positive trade balance or surplus.
Ukraine incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries:
- India: US$1.6 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2018)
- Egypt: $1.5 billion
- Netherlands: $822.5 million
- Spain: $742.3 million
- Moldova: $672 million
- Iraq: $644.2 million
- Turkey: $638.6 million
- Italy: $606 million
- Saudi Arabia: $562.3 million
- Romania: $423.1 million
Among Ukraine’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Ukrainian surpluses with Saudi Arabia (up 68%), Iraq (up 34.4%) and Moldova (up 11%) grew at the fastest percentage pace from 2017 to 2018. In addition, Ukrainian trade with Romania went from a -$262.8 million in red ink for 2014 to a $423.1 million surplus in 2018.
These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Ukraine’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Ukraine to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.
Companies Servicing Ukrainian Import Partners
Not one Ukrainian corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000 for 2015.
The following companies are selected examples of companies headquartered in Ukraine:
- 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)
See also Ukraine’s Top 10 Exports, Ukraine’s Top 10 Imports and Capital Facts for Kiev, Ukraine
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook report on Europe: Ukraine. Accessed on April 22, 2019
Forbes 2018 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 April 22, 2019
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on April 22, 2019
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on April 22, 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, Ukraine. Accessed on April 22, 2019