The deficit of Ukraine’s foreign trade in goods in January-May 2019 increased by 27.4% compared with January-May 2018, to $2.634 billion, the State Statistics Service has reported. According to its data, export of goods from Ukraine for the specified period grew by 7.4%, to $20.895 billion, while imports by 9.3%, to $23.529 billion.
The service said that in May 2019 the seasonally adjusted export volume increased by 5.4% compared to April 2019, to $4.368 billion, while imports by 4.3%, to $5.257 billion.
The seasonally adjusted foreign trade balance in May was also negative and amounted to $890 million, which is 1.1% more than in the previous month.
The service said that foreign trade operations were carried out with partners from 211 countries of the world.
The ratio of coverage of imports by exports amounted to 0.89.
The Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine intends to allocate UAH 119.8 million for reimbursement of expenses to 112 business entities under the program to support the development of viticulture, horticulture and hop production, the press service of the ministry has reported.
The ministry’s commissions made the corresponding decision at a meeting on July 12.
“Thanks to state support, Ukrainian agricultural producers have already planted 1,853 hectares with new crops, in particular, hazelnuts, walnuts, apples, pears, cherries, blueberries, strawberries, grapes, cherries, raspberries, plums, peaches, sea buckthorn,” the ministry noted.
Ukrainian coking plants reduced production of metallurgical coke with 6% moisture content 3.3% year-on-year in H1, 2019, to 5.189 million tonnes.
The Ukrkoks association of coke enterprises told Interfax-Ukraine that 769,000 tonnes of coke was produced in June and 917,000 tonnes in May.
Ukrkoks Director General Anatoliy Starovoit said coke production had fallen in recent months due to lower supplies of coking coal from Russia.
“There wasn’t enough coal. Most of all this affected Dniprokoks, a division of Dniprovsky Metallurgical Plant, formerly Evraz-DMZ and now part of Oleksandr Yaroslavsky’s DCH Group. The plant used to be owned by Russians and it got all its coke from Russia. Now it has changed ownership and the Russian government’s recent decisions to limit coal shipments to Ukraine have affected this enterprise above all, and to some extent Zaporizhkoks,” Starovoit said.
Also, some steel plants have stopped capacity for maintenance and repairs, so demand for coke has fallen.
According to Ukrkoks, coking coal imports from Russia fell year-on-year in H1 2019, to 2.9 million tonnes.
“Since the beginning of the year, coal shipments from the United States have increased only slightly, by 100,000 tonnes, while coal production at Ukrainian mines is practically unchanged compared with the same period of last year,” Starovoit said.
Ukrspyrt has resumed shipment of alcohol, terminated from July 1.
“The vodka crisis is canceled: the government has agreed on a temporary order for shipment of alcohol. State enterprise Ukrspyrt is working as normal and fulfilling contractual obligations,” the state-owned enterprise told Interfax-Ukraine.
The Cabinet of Ministers, in particular, agreed on a temporary order for shipment of alcohol until October 1, 2019.
“During this time, alcohol producers and consumers must bring accounting systems in accordance with the requirements of the Tax Code,” Ukrspyrt said.
As reported, the Cabinet of Ministers at a meeting on July 10 approved a “roadmap” of measures to resume the supply of alcohol suspended from July 1.
The document provides for the use of the metering devices already installed and registered in the relevant state register until the settlement of the issue of establishing and registering new electronic flow meters for ethyl alcohol by distilleries.
Ukraine from April 4 to July 13, 2019, increased its natural gas reserves in underground storage facilities (USF) by 66%, or 5.768 billion cubic meters (bcm), to 14.514 bcm, according to JSC Ukrtransgaz.
According to the calculations of the Interfax-Ukraine agency, this volume exceeds the stocks reported on July 13, 2018, by 22.2% and on July 13, 2017, by 18.9%.
The country’s gas reserves on July 1-13 increased by 969.38 million cubic meters (mcm), which was 74.6 mcm daily on the average, whereas it was 71.9 mcm per day in June, 62.9 mcm per day in May.
Ukraine’s gas reserves in the USFs on July 13, 2019, increased by 69.62 million cubic meters (mcm) when imports totaled 61.93 mcm and domestic production was 54.83 mcm.