Ukraine is generally in the news for political and military reasons, not its economy. However, these factors are of course intertwined. Until about 2013, this country’s most important trading partner was Russia. These days, things have changed. Political events caused Ukraine to look for other partners. Today, Ukraine’s trade with the EU has become more important than its relationship with Russia. Over time, though, trade with China is becoming ever more important for Ukraine’s economy.
Ukraine’s economy is very diverse. It encompasses everything from heavy industry to big retail chains. One cornerstone of Ukraine’s economy has always been agriculture. This country is known for producing lots of grain, sunflower oil and even honey. One other product that’s becoming incredibly important for Ukraine’s economy is chicken.
Since 2015, the amount of chicken exported by Ukraine has doubled. The numbers are still low when compared to global powerhouses like the United States. Right now, the US exports about 3 million tons of chicken around the world annually. By comparison, Ukraine exports just 350,000 tons of chicken. Ukraine’s capacity to export still has plenty of room to grow. It’s hoped and expected that shortly, Ukraine will be able to start exporting chicken to China.
In 2019, China has faced issues when it comes to meat production. For example, its own pork farms have been decimated by swine flu. This is just one factor that is pushing people in China to eat more beef and chicken than ever before. As demand increases for meat, the shortage of pork is being felt all the more acutely. Ukraine is hopeful that soon, they’ll be able to help fill the gap in this large and literally hungry marketplace.
There’s already a precedent for something similar, as China has begun to allow Ukrainian beef into the country. The first exports of Ukrainian beef to China took place in November 2019. Right now, reports are suggesting that Ukrainian and Chinese officials are working closely together to make it possible for more poultry to make its way into China. This evolving trade partnership is exciting for both countries. China is finding new solutions to supply its demands. Ukraine has found what might be a new route to increased independence and prosperity.