Ukraine - Country Commercial Guide
Food Processing and Packaging

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

Last published date: 2021-09-24


Data in USD thousands

Food Processing Equipment





2021 (estimated)

Total Local Production





Total Exports





Total Imports





Imports from the US





Total Market Size





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*

In 2020, total production of foodstuffs, beverages, and tobacco products in Ukraine was $21.2 billion, making up 23 % of the total industrial output. In trade terms, exports reached $6.3 billion accounting for 23.7 % of Ukraine’s industrial products exports. Vegetable and animal oils and fats take a dominant position in the exports structure making up 70.3 % of all food products exports or $4.4 billion in monetary value. However, the basis of agricultural exports are still exports of raw materials, namely products of plant origin, including corn, wheat, rapeseeds, and soybeans.

Along with the vegetable oil production that dominates the industry, Ukraine’s food processing industry includes more than 40 different sectors. There are significant opportunities in vegetable and fruit processing. For example, Ukraine is the leading producer of tomato paste in the former Soviet Union and an active competitor vis a vis European producers. Ukraine is also one of the five largest European suppliers of apple concentrate. Finally, Ukraine’s share of global potato production is 6.2 % and, with its GMO-free potato, Ukraine is well positioned to develop a strong position in the potato flour and stash market and to increase the volume of potato exports to the EU.

Large vertically integrated poultry producers, assisted by international financial institutions, will continue to expand and increase their market share. This growth will be driven by exports to the European Union (EU), Middle East, and Asia along with harmonization with EU standards. The level of concentration in Ukraine’s meat processing sector is high, with the top 20 companies accounting for 10 % of cattle livestock, 28 % of pig livestock, and 58 % of poultry livestock.

Altogether, there are two thousand small, medium, and large food processing enterprises in Ukraine, 200 of which are partners of international companies. Global giants that are well established in Ukraine include Mondelez, Nestle, Danone, PepsiCo, CocaCola, Carlsberg, Jacobs, East Balt Bakery, and Wim-Bill-Dann. The international companies’ market share is about 50 %. FDI into the Ukrainian food processing industry is estimated at $3 billion. However, about 70 % of Ukraine’s food processing capacity still operates obsolete equipment, which makes them uncompetitive.

In 2019, capital investments made in food processing companies doubled compared to 2015 and amounted to $1.2 billion or 13.7 % of total industrial capital investments. However, in 2020, according to the Institute of Agrarian Economics, investment in the food processing sector decreased significantly and amounted to only 51.5 % compared to 2019. Therefore, in 2021, experts anticipate a slowdown in investment activity in the agri-food sector due to the unfavorable climatic conditions and the COVID-19 pandemic the industry faced in 2020. Also, the Institute’s experts forecast that the large vertically integrated agricultural producers that also operate food processing companies will postpone their investment projects plans due to their expectations for the purchase of agricultural land.

U.S. food processing equipment manufacturers should consider the competitive landscape. Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, and Turkey and are the major exporters of food processing and packaging machinery and equipment. Germany and Turkey exports account for 68 % of the machinery used for confectionary. Germany’s share of sugar manufacturing machinery exports accounts for 63 %. The Netherlands, Germany, and Poland’s share of poultry processing equipment is 73 %. Italy accounts for 47 % of all imports of the equipment for bakery and macaroni production. Overall, U.S. exports of food processing machinery remain very low compared to European suppliers.

The Commercial Service in Kyiv identified food processing equipment as a “best prospect” following the beginning of the implementation of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) between Ukraine and the European Union (EU) in January 2016. This agreement includes the gradual removal of customs tariffs and quotas and the extensive harmonization of Ukraine’s laws, norms, and regulations in various sectors. Harmonization, in turn, will create an even greater competition for U.S. suppliers.

U.S. suppliers need to consider that, despite fierce competition from European suppliers, Ukraine growing the potential of agri-food chain development is very high as food processing companies need to modernize their production. Harmonization of the Ukrainian food safety legislation in compliance with EU norms, the requirement to implement Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), and the expansion to foreign markets will increase demand for higher quality food processing and packaging materials.

Regarding distribution, it is easier for U.S. companies to sell equipment and machinery to local distributors rather than end-users. This is because distributors have local exposure, meaning they know who needs the products and most importantly, who can pay for it. Also, a local distributor may handle customs clearance, tax payments, and certification procedures, as well as service and maintenance. If a U.S. exporter is seriously interested in the Ukrainian market, they should consider opening a representative office here. This will broaden the scope of expected support functions (marketing, promotion, and other auxiliary functions), serve as a base from which to expand to neighboring countries, and allow the company to manage the demand for spare parts and repair services.

Leading Sub-Sectors

Animal fats and vegetable oil production
Value-added products from cereals
Confectionary products
Dairy products
Fruit and vegetable products
Meat and poultry processing
Food packaging

Despite the challenges listed above of a lack of financing for equipment purchases and a lack of highly qualified personnel, the Ukrainian food processing industry has many advantages. Most significantly, Ukraine has an abundance of domestic raw materials. Additionally, Ukraine may serve as an export base to both East and West. In 2015, the Government of Ukraine also made many notable reforms and structural adjustments that will positively impact food processing, including the progressive removal of customs tariffs and quotas and the extensive harmonization of laws in compliance with the DCFTA as discussed above. Together, these strengths are creating opportunities in oil production, vegetable processing (including oils), cereals, confectionary, dairy, and meat processing.


Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine

Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine

Ukrainian Agribusiness Club

Ukrainian Grain Association

Ukrainian Agri Council

APK Inform

Trade Events

Bakery Ukraine, Kyiv

Inprodmash and Upakovka, 2020, Kyiv

Fresh Business Expo, Kyiv, Ukraine

Grain Tech Expo, Kyiv, Ukraine

Agro Animal Show, Kyiv, Ukraine

Fruit. Vegetables. Logistics, Ukraine