Business news from Ukraine

UKRAINE EXPORTS NITROGEN FERTILIZERS FOR $34 MLN, IMPORTED FOR $117 MLN IN Q1

Ukraine in January-March 2018 exported 169,941 tonnes of nitrogen mineral or chemical fertilizers for $34.238 million, while imported 558,292 tonnes worth $117.265 million. According to the State Fiscal Service, nitrogen fertilizers exports to Turkey amounted to $14.846 million, Mexico to $7.085 million, Romania to $3.983 million, and other countries to $8.325 million. Nitrogen fertilizers in the first quarter of the year were imported from the Russian Federation for $21.929 million, Uzbekistan for $21.929 million, Lithuania for $15.372 million and other countries for $49.1 million.
In addition, Ukraine in January-March of this year exported 1,474 tonnes of ammonia (code 2814) for $433,000, imported 114,906 tonnes for $41.965 million. All the ammonia was imported from the Russian Federation.
As reported, in 2011, Ukraine exported nitrogen fertilizers for $1.69 billion, and imported – for $153.347 million, in 2012 – for $1.695 billion and $163.234 million, in 2013 – for $1.134 billion and $211.822 million, in 2014 – for $647.623 million and $175.747 million, in 2015 – for $521.552 million and $212.931 million, in 2016 – for $321.614 million and $216.095 million, in 2017 – for $ 125.427 million and $337.346 million.
In 2011, Ukraine exported ammonia for $594.942 million, and imported – by $0.006 million, in 2012 – for $640.281 million and $0.026 million, in 2013 – for $628.606 million and $40.412 million, in 2014 – for $314.713 million and $43.518 million, in 2015 – for $251.937 million and $28.676 million, in 2016 – for $40.569 million and $51.802 million, in 2017 – $42.969 million and $123.012 million.

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LIST OF LARGE PRIVATIZATION IS PLANNED TO BE APPROVED ON APRIL 27

The government of Ukraine plans on April 27, 2018 approve a list of large facilities with assets worth over UAH 250 million for the privatization in 2018, acting Head of the State Property Fund (SPF) Vitaliy Trubarov has said. “At a meeting of the government to be devoted to the privatization scheduled for April 27 we will receive the finished list of large privatization and approve the requirements,” he said. Trubarov recalled that according to the new law on privatization that took effect on March 7, all facilities are divided into two groups: large and small. The fund makes decisions on the lists of small privatization. For this year the fund has approved a list of 660 small facilities.
The SPF head said that the sale of facilities in line with the new law will start after May holidays.
Trubarov also expressed opinion that in the coming five or seven years large Ukrainian companies like Ukrzaliznytsia or Ukrposhta would not be placed to the privatization lists.

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NATIONAL BANK EXPECTS NEXT TRANCHE FROM IMF IN Q3

The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) maintains its expectation that Ukraine will attract $2 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2018 and predicts the next tranche will be received at the beginning of the third quarter of 2018. “As for the next tranche of a loan, we believe that this will be possible at the beginning of the third quarter. However, this is rather a technical calculation in terms of the progress of negotiations and receipt of consents at the technical level,” Deputy NBU Governor Dmytro Solohub said at a briefing in Kyiv.
According to him, the NBU currently does not have any specific information about the date of the next visit of the IMF mission to Kyiv. At the same time, Solohub reported that the Ukrainian delegation planned to attend the Annual and Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank.
“The traditional spring meetings of the IMF will be held at the end of next week, and the Ukrainian delegation will be present at them. These are not only negotiations with the [IMF] mission to discuss the [EFF] program, these are also meetings with other international organizations,” he said.

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LITHUANIAN PM ON UKRAINIAN REFORMS: YOU MUST BE FASTER THAN WE

Prime Minister of Lithuania Saulius Skvernelis believes that Ukraine needs a high speed in carrying out reforms. He noted that old Europe, the old democracy “had decades to make changes in its countries.” And the new states, such as Lithuania, had to reform for 10 or less years and made changes quite quickly, he said in the framework of the panel discussion “Regional Cooperation: United by Common Goals” at the 11th Kyiv Security Forum on Thursday. “No matter how hard it is for you to hear this, but you must be faster, faster than we are,” the prime minister said.

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EC AND EUROPEAN ALCOHOL PRODUCERS AFRAID OF COUNTERFEIT ALCOHOL FROM UKRAINE

The European Commission jointly with European alcohol producers intend to publish the Counterfeit and Piracy watch-list for Ukraine with the purpose of comabting counterfeit alcohol sale in the EU partner countries. The Ukrvodka association said in a press release that the European initiative is aimed at revealing online and private marketplaces that allow producing and selling counterfeit and smuggled goods in the countries, which are not members of the European Union.
“The Ukrainian illegal alcohol market reaches 60% and withdraws about EUR 360 million from the budget. The European Commission plans to officially publish the Counterfeit and Piracy watch-list this year and update it regularly,” the association said.
According to the European Commission, the illegal market is a “concrete scourge for the economy,” it hinders investment and employment in the sectors related to the production of alcohol.
According to the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), about 5% of EU imports worth EUR 85 billion annually are unsafe counterfeit goods, mainly from neighboring countries.
According to the report, the attention of Europeans was attracted by the investigation of the Ukrainian anti-corruption human rights organization. According to their data, half of the state-owned distilleries produce illegal alcohol, and illegal vodka is also produced at distilleries: 10 out of 30 distilleries produce counterfeit goods.

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SPACE AGENCY’S EX-HEAD HAS CONCERNS ABOUT ABSENCE OF STATE SPACE PROGRAM

Former head of the State Space Agency of Ukraine (SSAU) Yuriy Alekseyev (2005-2014) has concerns about the current national policy in the space industry and the absence of the state program to maintain and develop the sector. “On the eve of Cosmonautics Day, I learned that the Ukrainian space agency has neither the concept of the industry nor the action plan for the near future, which is a very bad trend. It means that we do not need anyone as the industry and we are not interesting for the government in solving national tasks and problems. Despite the fact that many words and good intentions about the revival of the former glory and power of the Ukrainian space were mentioned during the appointment of the new head of the SSAU,” the former SSAU head said in an article posted on the website of the nongovernmental organization Space Initiatives Center (SIC).
“Forty years of work in the aerospace industry of the Soviet Union and the state of Ukraine allow me to think so and speak. From the very first days of Ukraine’s independence, the then leaders of the state thought and cared about people and enterprises that had never been controlled by Kyiv. L.Kravchuk, V.Masol, L.Kuchma, V.Pustovoitenko, O.Kuzmuk, P.Hermanchuk and many others understood that this is the intellect of science, both among scientists and engineers, and among the working class. We got an opportunity to work actively and contact with the leading aerospace enterprises and agencies around the world,” he said.
Alekseyev said that the history of the formation of the space industry of independent Ukraine was not easy, and included both successes and losses. Among them is the disruption of plans for cooperation with the United States on the launch of low-Earth orbiting satellites with the help of the Zenit-2 launch vehicle (LV) designed and produced in Ukraine under the Irridium program and the successful implementation of a large-scale international project on the commercial launches of satellites from the Sea Launch pad using the same Zenit LV.
“We made more than 30 successful launches, but at the same time there were failures and partially fulfilled tasks. Ukraine earned about $1 billion through Pivdenmash and Pivdenne [Design Bureau] thanks to the Sea Launch company,” he said.
According to Alekseyev, the work done by the industry enterprises in the field of satellite systems creation contributes to the successes of Ukraine. This is the creation of the Earth remote sensing satellite for Egypt following the international tender that was launched in 2007 by the EgyptSat spacecraft and the creation and launch of its own Sich-2 satellite with a target resolution of 2.5 meters in 2011. These works on EgyptSat and Sich-2 showed the world that Ukraine is able to design, manufacture, prepare for launch and operate spacecraft. The volume of its own work in the creation of these devices and ground infrastructure reached 75-80%,” the ex-head of the SSAU said.
“But this is all in the past. The last years of leapfrog and the replacement of the agency’s directors [SSAU], four in three years, have led to the fact that the industry stands on the verge of collapse,” Alekseyev said.
Thus, the ex-head of the SSAU criticized “the loud statements of some heads of space enterprises and agencies at briefings and press conferences in Canada and Japan on the construction of launching sites in Canada, then in Scotland, then in Australia,” which, he said, do not do honor to the State Space Agency of Ukraine and the leadership of the country.
At the same time, Alekseyev connects his hopes for positive changes in the space industry with 2019.
“I hope that the year 2019, the year of the 75th anniversary of Pivdenmash, will be the year of the revival of Sea Launch’s launches, the year of completion of the work on the creation of a Ukrainian war missile,” he said.

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