China has consolidated its position as Ukraine’s main trading partner, according to new figures released by the Ukrainian State Statistics Service in August 2020. The data, which covers the first five months of 2020, identified China as the number one source of imports into Ukraine and the leading market for Ukrainian exports.
In January-May 2020, China accounted for 17.7% of all imports into Ukraine. This was significantly more than second-placed Germany with a 12.3% share of Ukraine’s imports. During the same period, China received 16% of Ukraine’s total exports, almost double the 8.3% figure of Poland, which was the number two Ukrainian export market. Poland was one of five EU countries among Ukraine’s top ten export destinations alongside Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands.
These latest trade figures also confirmed the unprecedented post-2014 decline in Ukraine’s trade ties with Russia. Prior to the outbreak of hostilities between the two countries six years ago, Russia had dominated Ukraine’s export and import markets. However, the economic component of Russia’s hybrid war against Ukraine, coupled with retaliatory measures imposed by Kyiv, has meant a dramatic reduction in bilateral economic ties. In 2012, Russia accounted for 32.4% of Ukraine’s imports, but this figure fell to 10.9% in January-May 2020. Meanwhile, the Russian share of Ukrainian exports dropped from 25.7% in 2012 to just 7.3% during the first five months of the current year.