Below are the country’s top 25 exports, according to Ukrstat and the State Fiscal Service’s tally of export revenues for 2015.
One of Ukraine’s national symbols, the sunflower produces both cooking oil and sunflower seeds and brings in $3 billion in export revenue to the country.
According to the U.S Department of Agriculture, corn crops are grown on roughly 60 percent of Ukraine’s arable land, and earn Ukraine an estimated $3 billion in export revenues.
The information technology services industry is among the fastest growing areas of Ukraine’s economy, with entrepreneurs taking advantage of the large number of the country’s workers who are highly educated in technical fields. Last year saw Ukraine make a whopping $2.5 billion from providing IT services abroad.
Ukraine made around $2.2 billion from its wheat exports last year. What was once the Soviet Union’s breadbasket now serves the same purpose for Europe and the Middle East, Ukraine’s vast fields of grain have given the country a relatively stable economic base on which to build over the turbulent years of independence.
Iron ore is one of Ukraine’s most abundant natural resources, and is an input for the massive furnaces and industries in the country’s center and east. But not all of it is smelted within Ukraine – $2 billion worth of iron ore was exported last year.
Timber from logging, legal and illegal, is one of Ukraine’s main exports. That could, however, be in question now that the European Union has mandated that Ukraine implement a ban on log exports that parliament approved in November 2015. The country made $1.1 billion from such exports last year.
Ukraine inherited parts of the Soviet Union’s distributed car manufacturing industry, a remnant of Soviet central economic planning. Ukraine earned $827.7 million from jumper cable exports in 2015.
Ukraine is one of the world’s largest soybean producers, with 4.2 million tons of soybeans anticipated from this year’s harvest. The country made $800 million from exporting this crop in 2015.
Ukraine’s aviation enterprises have remained resilient and profitable throughout the past 25 years, with both Antonov and Motor Sich remaining competitive at least regionally. The country made $614.9 million in revenues from jet engine exports last year.
Ukraine’s abundant plains and grain reserves make it an ideal place for raising livestock. While Ukraine has strong domestic demand for meat and meat products, the country last year also made $377.6 million from meat exports.
Ukraine milks its livestock for all it is worth, and earned $375 million in revenues from dairy exports last year.
The legacy of Soviet military-industrial infrastructure left Ukraine with design and production facilities for rocket engines. The Yuzhnoe design bureau in Dnipro makes the Zenit family of rockets, as does the Yuzhmash production plant, also in Dnipro. The rockets used to be sold mainly to Russia, but are now also sold to clients around the world. Last year’s exports totalled $368 million.
Controversial during wartime but quite lucrative, Ukraine’s weapons industry remains relatively robust as it searches for new markets following a 2014 ban on arms sales to Russia. The country sells tanks around the world, as well as locally produced small arms, earning $323 million in 2015 according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
Pumped into Odesa on the world’s longest ammonia pipeline from the Russian city of Tolyatti, Ukraine exports nearly seven percent of the world’s ammonia, earning it $251.9 million last year.
Ukraine has two main locomotive factories – one in the Dnipro River city of Kremenchug, and another in occupied Luhansk. While the Luhansk factory has been unable to continue production because of Russia’s war in the area, Kremenchug has kept up a steady pace of production, making $210.8 million in exports last year, according to Ukrstat.
Ukraine has seen some international expansion of its alcohol brands, with Zaporizhia-based distillery Khortytsia pushing a plan to expand sales into Asia. Sending booze to foreign markets earned Ukraine $183.6 million last year.
Western Ukraine has an electricity surplus and sells power to Hungary, earning the country $150 million last year.
A harvester gathers grain in Kyiv Oblast in July 2016. Wheat is one of Ukraine’s largest exports, with the crop mainly going to the European Union and the Middle East. (UNIAN)
Shevchenko – shoemaker, in Ukrainian – is one of the country’s most common last names, and the country itself is a shoemaker, exporting $144.7 million worth of shoes last year in sales ranging from bulk producers coming from large shoemaking factories in Dnipro and Zaporizhia, while smaller producers like Kyiv’s Alina Kachorovskaya sell hand-made, luxury shoes to individual western clients.
Ukraine made $117 million from fluid pump exports in 2015, selling them mostly to other Eastern European and Central Asian nations.
Leather and fur
In addition to meat and other livestock related exports, Ukraine operates a fairly lucrative trade in leather and fur. Ukrstat reports that the country made $114 million last year from animal products.
Ukraine produces the largest amount of honey per capita of any country, with 1.5 percent of the population engaged in beekeeping or honey production, according to Ukrstat. As Europe’s largest honey producer, Ukraine earned $95.9 million from honey exports last year.
Spacecraft and aircraft
According to Hubs.UA, relying on information from the fiscal service, most of the country’s space exports go to the planet-exploring nations of North Korea and South Sudan. Those exports, built using facilities left over from the Soviet Union, earned Ukraine $89 million.
Books and newspapers
Ukraine sold $82 million worth of books and newspapers abroad last year, according to Ukrstat.
Coal exports have fallen since Russian-backed separatists declared two phony republics in the Donbas, sparking a war that destroyed east Ukraine’s economy. Though large amounts of coal reportedly continue to leave the country via smuggling, Ukrstat recorded $53.6 million in export revenues for 2015.
With its still-operating former Soviet chemical plants and weapons factories, Ukraine is a strong regional producer of explosives, making $7 million from exports in 2015.
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