The war in Ukraine has devastated the lives of millions of Ukrainians who have, for several weeks now, endured a devastating conflict that was thrust upon them. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has also disrupted trade flows – for both countries.
So far, the focus of the international community has been on oil shortages as countries have imposed sanctions on trade with Russia, affecting the sale of oil and gas. While Ukraine may not be as large an oil exporter, it is a big supplier of agricultural products. By export value, it is a major source of seed oils, corn, and wheat. It also exports iron ore and semi-finished iron. Disruptions due to war will also affect the world’s supply of all of these commodities. (These are the most import-dependent economies in the world.)
The most common destinations for Ukraine’s exports are China, Poland, Russia, Turkey, and Egypt. But Ukraine also imports goods, and countries exporting to Ukraine could be impacted too. The most common import partners of Ukraine are China, Russia, Poland, Germany, and Belarus. (Also see the 25 largest arms exporting countries and who they sell to.)
To determine Ukraine’s leading trading partners, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on export and import value reported to the Trade Statistics Branch of the United Nations Statistics Division and curated by the Observatory of Economic Complexity, an online data visualization and distribution platform. Countries were ranked based on the total value of all imports to and exports from Ukraine in 2020.
China was by far Ukraine’s leading trading partner, with a total trade value in 2020 of $14.71 billion. Ukraine’s top export to China was iron ore. Ukraine’s second largest trading partner was Russia in 2020, though no doubt that relationship has changed dramatically since the war began. At the time, the total trade value was $9.28 billion, with Ukraine importing $6.31 billion worth of goods. Its largest import product from Russia was refined petroleum.
The United States was Ukraine’s ninth largest trading partner in 2020, with Ukraine importing $2.16 billion worth of goods from the U.S. and exporting $1.11 billion worth to the U.S. The top export to the U.S. was pig iron, which is used in the production of steel. According to the OEC, the U.S. imported a total of $1.24 billion worth of pig iron in 2020, meaning that the pig iron imports from Ukraine, worth $540 million, accounted for about 44% of the U.S. total pig iron imports.
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