Ukraine’s foreign trade continued to grow in 2019, exports and imports of goods expanded both by 6%. The trade deficit amounted to USD 11 bn. This corresponds to 7.1% of GDP, which is lower than in the previous year. Economic growth and hryvnia appreciation were the main reasons for this reduction.
The European Union remained the largest trade partner, accounting for 41% of total trade in goods. As a novelty of 2019, China became the second-largest partner with a 12% share. The share of Russia dropped to 9%, the lowest level ever, amid a new wave of trade restrictions.
Regarding exports, the strong expansion of grain supplies, especially to Asian and North African markets, helped to counterbalance the negative developments in world steel trade, suffering from trade restrictions and the reduction in global prices.
Lower energy prices, including those for gas, contributed to the slowdown of imports despite the sustained internal demand for machines and equipment, backed by the expansion of domestic investments.