Based on the average exchange rate for 2020, the Ukrainian hryvnia depreciated by -5.5% against the US dollar since 2016 and depreciated by -4.3% from 2019 to 2020. Ukraine’s weaker local currency makes Ukraine’s imports paid for in the comparatively stronger US dollars relatively more expensive when converted starting from the weaker Ukrainian hryvnia.
Ukraine’s spending on its top 7 imported products (cars, refined petroleum oils, medication mixes in dosage, petroleum gases, coal, phone devices including smartphones, and packaged insecticides, fungicides or herbicides) accounts for over one quarter (26.5%) of total Ukrainian imports by value.
Applying a continental lens to the latest data, about three-fifths (60.5%) of Ukraine’s total imports by value were purchased from fellow European countries. Asian trade partners supplied 30.9% of imports purchased by Ukraine while 6.2% worth of goods originated from North America.
Smaller percentages came from suppliers in Africa (1.5%), Latin American countries (1.4%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, and Oceania (0.1%) led by Australia and New Zealand.
Given Ukraine’s population of 41.5 million people, its total $54 billion in 2020 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 2020, 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$7.8 billion (14.4% of total imports)
- Machinery including computers: $6.1 billion (11.3%)
- Vehicles: $5.5 billion (10.2%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $5.4 billion (9.9%)
- Pharmaceuticals: $2.52 billion (4.7%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: $2.48 billion (4.6%)
- Other chemical goods: $1.3 billion (2.5%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $1.2 billion (2.3%)
- Iron, steel: $1 billion (1.9%)
- Rubber, rubber articles: $927.6 million (1.7%)
Ukraine’s top 10 imports approached two-thirds (63.5%) of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.
Optical, technical and medical apparatus represents Ukraine’s fastest grower among its top import categories via an 18.4% increase from 2019 to 2020. The second-fastest gainer was the pharmaceuticals category up by 17.7%, trailed by the 0.4% increase for Ukraine’s imports of miscellaneous chemical goods.
Mineral fuels including oil posted the steepest decline year over year due to a -36.3% drop.
Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level. Information presented under the adjacent virtual folder tabs labeled with product groupings is at the more granular 4-digit level.
In 2020, Ukrainian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of mineral fuels-related energy products.
- Processed petroleum oils: US$3.4 billion (down -37.4% from 2019)
- Petroleum gases: $1.8 billion (down -38.7%)
- Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $1.7 billion (down -40.1%)
- Crude oil: $394.9 million (down -4.2%)
- Petroleum oil residues: $255.8 million (up 24.7%)
- Electrical energy: $131.5 million (up 8.4%)
- Coke, semi-coke: $82.4 million (down -68.7%)
- Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $10.4 million (down -2.6%)
- Tar pitch, coke: $8.2 million (down -48.8%)
- Asphalt/petroleum bitumen mixes: $8.0 million (up 0.03%)
Among these import subcategories, Ukrainian purchases of petroleum oil residues (up 24.7%), electrical energy (up 8.4%) then asphalt or petroleum bitumen mixes (up 0.03%) grew from 2019 to 2020.
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 2020, Ukrainian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machinery including computers.
- Computers, optical readers: US$618.3 million (up 1.3% from 2019)
- Refrigerators, freezers: $323.7 million (up 13.5%)
- Harvest/threshing machinery: $271.9 million (down -3.3%)
- Centrifuges, filters and purifiers: $267.9 million (up 1.1%)
- Agricultural/horticultural/forestry machiner: $243.7 million (up 3.3%)
- Machinery for soil preparation, cultivation: $231.8 million (down -14.7%)
- Miscellaneous machinery: $225.7 million (down -20.3%)
- Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers): $221.9 million (up 13.9%)
- Nuclear reactors, fuel elements: $213.4 million (down -47%)
- Liquid pumps and elevators: $204.6 million (up 4.3%)
Among these import subcategories, Ukrainian purchases of heavy machinery like bulldozers and excavators (up 13.9%), refrigerators or freezers (up 13.5%) then liquid pumps and elevators (up 4.3%) grew at the fastest pace from 2019 to 2020.
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 2020, Ukrainian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of vehicles-related goods.
- Cars: US$3.5 billion (down -3.1% from 2019)
- Tractors: $520.6 million (down -14.8%)
- Automobile parts/accessories: $502.5 million (up 3.2%)
- Trucks: $414.5 million (down -5.7%)
- Trailers: $185.6 million (down -11.1%)
- Special purpose vehicles: $121.5 million (down -22.9%)
- Automobile bodies: $64.9 million (down -18.5%)
- Public-transport vehicles: $64.2 million (down -13.6%)
- Motorcycles: $54.8 million (up 26%)
- Bicycles, other non-motorized cycles: $23.2 million (down -19.2%)
Among these import subcategories, Ukrainian purchases of motorcycles (up 26%) and automobile parts or accessories (up 3.2%) grew from 2019 to 2020.
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.
In 2020, Ukrainian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of electronics.
- Phone system devices including smartphones: US$1.1 billion (up 14.4% from 2019)
- Insulated wire/cable: $498.3 million (down -13.4%)
- TV receivers/monitors/projectors: $375.5 million (up 16.9%)
- Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $362.1 million (down -1.7%)
- Electric water heaters, hair dryers: $346.1 million (up 11.8%)
- Solar power diodes/semi-conductors: $315.6 million (down -75.7%)
- Electric generating sets, converters: $314 million (down -22.8%)
- Electrical converters/power units: $214.3 million (down -45%)
- Integrated circuits/microassemblies: $170.5 million (down -12.3%)
- TV receiver/transmit/digital cameras: $149.3 million (up 4.8%)
Among these import subcategories, Ukrainian purchases of television receivers, monitors and projectors (up 16.9%), phone system devices including smartphones (up 14.4%) then electric water heaters or hair dryers (up 11.8%) grew at the fastest pace from 2019 to 2020.
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.
See also Ukraine’s Top 10 Exports, Russia’s Top 10 Imports, Wheat Imports by Country and Most Valuable Red Meat Import Markets by Country
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook report on Europe: Ukraine. Accessed on July 15, 2021
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (National Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on July 15, 2021
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on July 15, 2021
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on July 15, 2021