Ukraine - Country Commercial Guide
Agricultural Machinery

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2021-09-24

Overview

Data in USD thousands

 

2018

2019

2020
(estimated)

2021 (estimated)

Total Local Production

327,007

334,465

350,000

320,000

Total Exports

119,695

106,709

96,000

100,000

Total Imports

1,555,428

1,370,527

1,035,000

960,000

Imports from the US

293,407

240,466

216,419

200,300

Total Market Size

1,762,740

1,598,283

1,289,000

1,180.000

Exchange Rates*

27.2 UAH

25.85 UAH

28.3 UAH

28.6 UAH

Total Market Size = (Total Local Production + Total Imports) – (Total Exports)

Data Sources: State Statistics Service of Ukraine, Ministry of Economy of Ukraine*

Ukraine’s agribusiness sector remains the most promising sector of the economy. With 41.5 million hectares of agricultural land covering 70 % of the country and about 25 % of the world’s reserves of black soil, agriculture is Ukraine’s largest export industry. In 2020, Ukraine’s agriculture sector generated approximately 9.3% of GDP.

Production is primarily divided between two groups - agricultural enterprises and households. The former produces 55 % of gross output and consists of 45,000 enterprises. The second group consists of more than 4 million households cultivating on average 1.23 hectares of land each, generating nearly 45 % of gross agricultural output.

Crop farming, which accounts for 73 % of agricultural output, dominates Ukrainian agriculture. Corn, wheat, and barley are Ukraine’s main grain crops. For five consecutive years (2013-2017), Ukraine harvested over 60 million tons of grain and legumes annually. In 2018 and 2019, Ukraine continued increasing grain production volumes to 70 and 74 million tons respectfully. 2020 was a turbulent year for Ukraine in the context of the economic situation, constraints associated with COVID-19, and due to the atypical weather conditions. In 2020, the gross grain harvest amounted to 65.4 million tons, which was still three times more than the needs of the domestic market. With significant improvements in yields, many experts estimate that Ukraine’s total grain output potential is 140 million tons.

Oilseed is the second most important subsector in Ukrainian crop farming. The major oil crops are sunflower, soy, and rapeseed. In the mid-2000s, after implementation of export tariffs for unprocessed sunflower seed, Ukraine developed a leading sunflower oil industry and became the number one exporter of sunflower oil in the world.

In the context of a total export volume decrease, the share of agricultural exports is increasing. The share of agriculture in export revenues for Ukraine increased from 26 % in 2012 to 45 % in 2020 amounting to $22.2 billion. The basis of agricultural exports is still the export of raw materials, namely products of plant origin, including corn, wheat, rapeseeds, and soybeans. Sunflower oil is the second largest export product after corn, accounting for $5.8 billion or 7.6 % of all exports. It also produces significant volumes of poultry, forage and feed crops, potatoes, sugar beets, and a variety of fruit and vegetables.

The moratorium on land sales of arable land was Ukraine’s gap between potential and actual production volumes. The moratorium on land sales meant that large farms depend on land leases, which hampers access to finance and discourages, for the most part, investment in irrigation and drainage.  The gradual opening of the land market effective in July 2021 will allow farmers to use land as collateral and, in a long-term perspective, will encourage them to invest more in equipment and infrastructure. Beginning in July 2021, agricultural land is available for sale to Ukrainian citizens (up to 247 acres per individual). Beginning in 2024, Ukrainian legal entities will be able to buy up to 24,710 acres. The World Bank estimates that the opening of the land market, together with better targeting of subsidies and other measures to improve land productivity and transparency in the sector, could lead to incremental GDP growth of over 2.0 % per annum over the next few years.

During 2016-2017, greater political stability, a stronger economy, a more stabile hryvnia (the country’s currency) and delayed demand enabled and encouraged Ukrainian farmers to resume badly needed capital investment, including in agricultural equipment. Farm machinery and equipment imports increased nearly 2.5 times in 2017 compared to 2015, returning to 2013 levels. In 2018 and 2019 the demand for imported machinery and equipment decreased at 11 and 12 % respectfully due to stabilization of the situation after a high increase in 2017. In 2020, import of agricultural machinery and equipment decreased dramatically at 33 % versus the expected decrease of 15-20 % due to constraints associated with COVID-19, limited access to credit and working capital, and transition to the open land market.

Demand for used agricultural machinery remains stable. Most of end users are medium and small agricultural producers. It is important to know that importers of used agricultural machinery and equipment do not have a large inventory level of equipment, but rather make purchases based on their customers’ demand. The major reasons for not having a large inventory are expensive domestic loans, fluctuating currency exchange rate, and variable demand.

Opportunities

The Commercial Service in Ukraine holds a positive long-term view on sales prospects for U.S. agricultural machinery and equipment manufacturers in Ukraine. Although demand for agricultural machinery is directly tied to the health of Ukraine’s agribusiness, import volumes of agricultural equipment are traditionally high.

Although Ukraine is a major global producer and exporter of crops, its agricultural sector is under-equipped, and much of its existing agricultural machinery is outdated. According to the Institute of Agrarian Economics of Ukraine, in 2018, availability of fixed assets per one hectare of farmland was 20 %. With anticipated growth of production volumes and delayed demand, Ukraine’s imports of agricultural machinery and equipment is expected to grow. Operational need for agricultural machinery and equipment is estimated at $20 billion in 2025.

The opening of the land market together with implementation of the Ukrainian Government’s Irrigation and Drainage Strategy until 2030 will encourage farmers to invest in irrigation and drainage technologies. It will also create public procurement opportunities related to engineering land reclamation systems. The total cost of the Ukrainian irrigation infrastructure modernization is estimated at $4 billion.

Modernization of systems that currently serve 147,000 hectares of land will be addressed during the second phase of the Strategy implementation in 2021-2024. The modernization need is estimated at $194 million. The estimated cost per hectare is $1,200, or around $1.4 million per typical pump station, $900,000 of which will be required for farmer-owned sprinklers and power supply, and the remaining $500,000 for a pump station and a pipe network serving multiple farmers.

Best Prospects include:

  • Tractors
  • Harvesters
  • Tillage equipment
  • Seeding equipment
  • Sprayers and fertilizer distributors
  • Irrigation equipment

In addition to the prospects for agricultural machinery used for plant cultivation, the following agribusiness sub-sectors are promising for U.S. companies:

  • Grain storage and handling
  • Agricultural chemicals, including growth enhancers and micronutrients

Competition

U.S. agricultural machinery companies contemplating entering the Ukrainian market should also consider the competitive landscape. U.S. brands such as John Deere, AGCO, Great Plains, and Case are widely available in the Ukrainian market, but face tough competition from European manufacturers (e.g. German, Danish, and Italian). Competition is particularly fierce for tractors and harvesters. In the combine harvester segment, German manufacturers hold almost fifty percent of the market (both new and used), while U.S. manufacturers have less than ten percent. Competition from European suppliers would likely increase should Ukraine enter into the European Union (EU). The Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) agreement, which is part of Ukraine’s EU Association Agreement includes the gradual removal of customs tariffs and quotas and an extensive harmonization of laws, norms, and regulations in various sectors. Additionally, Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA) envisages improved market access, by eliminating tariffs across many export groups.

Local agricultural machinery and equipment production is also expected to grow due to a Ukrainian Government program offering 25 % support for the purchase of Ukrainian agricultural machinery and equipment. However, according to the Center of Economic Recovery the market share of imported machinery in Ukraine remains high accounting for 67 %.

Financing

The major factor restricting agricultural development is access to credit and working capital. Domestic loans are expensive, and Ukraine’s challenging business climate prevents local companies from attracting cheaper international funds. Therefore, the competition among suppliers of agricultural machinery in Ukraine is not only about quality, but also about a supplier’s financial terms. A major trend in the agricultural banking industry is operational capital financing for the purchase of plant protection products, seeds, fertilizers, and fuels. Bankers are more willing to offer credit to agricultural commodity producers of grains, cereals, and oilseeds.

At the end of December 2018, after more than five years of suspended operations, the U.S. Export - Import Bank reopened its short and medium-term programs in Ukraine for both private and public sector. This action sent a strong signal to U.S. companies seeking to supply the Ukrainian market with U.S. agricultural equipment and services, since financing is a key factor for buyers considering equipment purchases.

Resources

Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine

Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine

Ukrainian Agribusiness Club

Ukrainian Grain Association

Ukrainian Agri Council

APK Inform

American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine Working Group on Agricultural Machinery Issues

Trade Events

AgroComplex, Kyiv, Ukraine

Fresh Business Expo, Kyiv, Ukraine

Grain Tech Expo, Kyiv, Ukraine

Agro Animal Show, Kyiv, Ukraine

Fruit. Vegetables. Logistics, Kyiv, Ukraine

AGRO, Kyiv, Ukraine