China overtakes Poland, Russia to become Ukraine's top trade partner in 8M19

China overtakes Poland, Russia to become Ukraine's top trade partner in 8M19
China accounted for the largest share of both Ukraine's imports and exports in the first eight months of this year.
By Ben Aris in Berlin October 29, 2019

There were more dramatic changes in Ukraine’s trade patterns over the first eight months of this year as China overtook Poland to become both Ukraine’s biggest export destination and its biggest source of imports.

It was only in April when Poland displaced Russia to become Ukraine’s largest export market where it sold $1.1bn worth of cumulative of goods between January and April and imported $1.3bn of goods from Poland over the same period – a modest trade deficit.

Although Russia fell into second place in terms of exports from Ukraine, it remained the biggest partner in terms of exports from Russia into Ukraine, selling a cumulative $1.8bn in the first four months of the year and leaving Ukraine with a sizable trade deficit of around $800mn for the period.

At the time China was already a big supplier of imports to Ukraine, selling $916mn of goods to Ukraine in the first four months of the year, but Ukraine sold next to nothing to China, which didn't appear in the top 15 export destinations from Ukraine at all.

That changed dramatically in the next four months from May to August. Now China tops both lists, buying $2.4bn worth of Ukrainian goods and selling $5.7bn of goods to Ukraine between January and August.

Poland is now the second biggest export market, buying $2.2bn, and the balance of trade with Poland remains fairly balanced.

Counter intuitively the trade deficit with Russia has got bigger as while Ukraine exported $2.2bn worth of goods to Russia in 8M19, the imports from Russia also soared to $4.9bn in 8M19, leaving Ukraine with a trade deficit of a whopping $2.5bn for the period.

From Ukraine’s other trade partners, Germany is the one to watch, as it has also been climbing up the rankings. In April Germany didn't rank amongst the top 15 export markets, but was the fourth most important source of imports, selling $927mn worth of goods in 4M19.

However, by August Germany had shot up both rankings and is now the sixth most important Ukrainian export market, buying $1.5bn worth of goods over 8M19 but selling a whopping $4bn of goods to Ukraine. The trade deficit Ukraine is now running with Germany of about $2.5bn is on a par with Russia’s, and exports from Germany to Ukraine are worth about a billion dollars less than those from Russian, but Germany is expected to continue to close the gap as Ukraine re-orientates away from Russian goods and towards European goods.

 

 

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