7:22 AM Sunday, October 21, 2018 - Tuesday, December 19
Food accounts for 42% of Ukraine’s exports; Limit on dividend remittances to be lifted; Interpipe exports 1 million tons of pipe to Middle East
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  • The Cabinet of Ministers abolished about 300 state regulations over business on Monday. With more changes planned for 2018 on state control over business, Prime Minister Groysman said next year provides an opportunity to get rid of "this rudiment of the Soviet system of supervision and control."
  • Ukraine’s foreign trade deficit more than doubled through November, hitting $4.6 billion. Imports grew faster than exports: 27% vs 21%. Imports grew on higher oil prices and the need to import coal. Alexander Paraschiy of Concorde Capital writes: “For 2018, we anticipate the goods trade deficit to keep growing on the back of a steady recovery in domestic consumption, which translates into stronger imports. We project a $7.2 billion trade deficit in 2018.”
  • Farm exports accounted for 42% of all of Ukraine’s exports through October, according to Maksym Martyniuk, first deputy minister of Agrarian Policy and Food. For the recently completed marketing year, he said, Ukraine ranked first place worldwide in exports of sunflower oil; second - in barley; third – in corn, nuts and honey; and sixth – in wheat and oilseeds. Of the nearly $15 billion worth of produce exported through October, the top five buyers are: India, Egypt, the Netherlands, Spain, and China.
  • Wheat exports to the Middle East are up by 46 percent during the July-October period, compared to the same period last year, APK-Inform reports. Although Ukraine’s overall grain harvest is down 5% from last year’s record, Reuters expects the nation to draw on stocks to export this year a record volume of 44-45 million tons of grain.
  • Prometey Group, a major Mykolayiv agroholding, plans to increase its grain exports by 50% in 2018, to 1.5 million tons of grain, Rafael Goroyan, owner of the company, tells Focus magazine. For the 2017/2018 marketing year, he forecasts sales revenues at $240 million. With trading margins low, the company plans to continue investing in its storage capacity. With 18 silos, Prometey now has a storage capacity equal to its 2017 sales volume – 1 million tons.
  • Dnipro-based Interpipe has reached a milestone: delivering more than one million tons of pipe to Middle East customers over the last decade, TradeArabia News Service reports. Andrey Burtsev, Interpipe regional trade director, noted that since opening the office in Dubai a decade ago, 58.5% of pipe supplies have gone to oil and gas projects and 41.5% to construction.
  • Exports of steel building structures are up by 50% to 15,000 tons, topping the historic peak of 2013, Vyacheslav Kolesnik, executive director of the Ukrainian Steel Construction Center, tells Interfax. Internally, consumption of steel structures for non-residential real estate is up this year by 18-20%.
  • Ukraine intends to extend for one more year import duties on goods from Russia, Interfax reports. The duties were introduced in early 2016 in response to Russian trade bans and restrictions on Ukrainian goods.
  • Next year, Ukraine’s Export Credit Agency is to start work, Prime Minister Groysman said. A second agency, the Export Promotion Office, also opens next year, operating with technical assistance from Britain and Canada.
  • ArcelorMittal has reaffirmed its plan to invest $1.5 billion over the next three years to upgrade its Kryvyi Rih plant, the largest integrated steel plant in the country. Girish Sardan, deputy general director for supply, talked to reporters Monday at a supplier conference.
  • Kyiv’s Ukrplastic, the largest manufacturer of flexible plastic packaging for consumer goods in Eastern Europe, is to receive a EUR20 million loan from the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation. Approved in Washington on Friday, the IFC loan is to be matched by EUR20 million from commercial banks. The money is to be used to modernize processes and facilities at Ukrplastic, a privately-owned company which spreads over 34 buildings on an 11-hectare site near Livoberezhna metro station.
  • Ukraine needs to get back on track with its IMF program, otherwise it will face serious financing problems over the next three years, Vitaly Vavrishchuk, financial stability director of the National Bank of Ukraine, told reporters Monday. He warned: "Ukraine should refinance over $20 billion of foreign currency debts in 2018, 2019 and 2020, without active cooperation with multilateral financial organizations, this will be problematic." Without an IMF program, he said, Ukraine will face steep interest rates to win needed financing from the private sector.
  • Gosta Ljungman, the IMF country head, told Reuters last Friday that he sees real risks on the revenue and expenditure side of Ukraine’s 2018 budget. Later, in an email to UNIAN, Ljungman said the IMF wants domestic gas prices to be on a par with import prices. He wrote: “Market gas prices in the domestic market will stimulate the implementation of energy saving measures and promote the efficient allocation of resources…It ensures that the gas sector is able to recover costs, and has resources to invest in gas infrastructure.”
  • Non-performing loans account for 56 percent of the debt portfolio of the Ukrainian banking system, Vitaliy Vavryshchuk, director of the central bank’s financial stability department, told reporters Monday. At the same briefing, Deputy Bank Governor Kateryna Rozhkova said that more than 400 cases have been launched against the central bank, PrivatBank, and the Finance Ministry in connection with last year’s nationalization of PrivatBank.
  • The currently monthly $5 million limit on repatriation of dividends will be either raised or scrapped in coming weeks, Yakiv Smoliy, acting governor of the National Bank of Ukraine told the European Business Association. The central bank is gradually easing currency controls.
  • Yakiv Smoliy, acting governor of the central bank, is not a fan of crypto currencies, but does not mind if other Ukrainians hold them. He told the European Business Association: "I do not have bitcoins. Yet, I don't mind if others have them." The National Bank of Ukraine and other financial regulators issued a note Nov. 30 saying they were evaluating the legal status of crypto currencies, but were not considering a ban.
  • Biofarma, a leading Ukrainian pharmaceutical company, is investing $35 million in construction of a blood plasma fractionator plant. Importing equipment from Germany, Italy and the U.S., company president Kostiantyn Yefymenko plans to open the plant in July. Noting that it will have the capacity to process 500 tons of blood plasma a year, he writes on his Facebook page: “We have the ambition of being among the seven largest global producers of blood plasma.”
  • Seedstars World, an international start-up competition, has selected 12 start-ups to represent Ukraine at the Seedstars Summit in Lausanne, Switzerland, on April 12. Winners compete for a main prize of $500,000 of equity investment. All participants win exposure to international investors looking for new ideas.
  • By March, Ukraine is to introduce electronic visas for foreigners entering the country, Andriy Zayats, Secretary of State of the Foreign Ministry, told
  • Direct flights between Lisbon and Kyiv are to resume next year, under an agreement reached during President Poroshenko’s visit Monday to the Portuguese capital. About 50,000 Ukrainians work in Portugal, a foreign community second in size only to Brazil’s. Through September, bilateral trade increased 35%, Poroshenko wrote on his Facebook page.

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