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: 2020-11-06

Overview

Data in USD thousands

 

2017

2018

2019

2020
(estimated)

Total Local Production

348,271

327,007

334,465

350,000

Total Exports

127,885

119,695

106,709

96,000

Total Imports

1,748,210

1,555,428

1,370,527

1,035,000

Imports from the US

381,975

293,407

240,466

216,419

Total Market Size

1,968,596

1,762,740

1,598,283

1,289,000

Exchange Rates

26.6 UAH

27.2 UAH

25.8 UAH

25.8 UAH

 

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

Data Sources:

Ukraine’s agribusiness sector remains the most promising sector of the economy.  With 41.5 million hectares of agricultural land covering 70 percent of the country and about 25 percent of the world’s reserves of black soil, agriculture is Ukraine’s largest export industry.  In 2019, Ukraine’s agriculture sector generated approximately 9% of GDP. 

Production is primarily divided between two groups - agricultural enterprises and households.  The former produces 55 percent 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 percent of gross agricultural output.

Crop farming, which accounts for 73 percent 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.  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 percent in 2012 to 44.3 percent in 2019 amounting to $22.2 billion.  The basis of agricultural exports is still exports 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 7.6 percent or $3.78 billion of all exports.  It also produces significant volumes of poultry, forage and feed crops, potatoes, sugar beets, and a variety of fruit and vegetables.

However, Ukraine’s gap between potential and actual production volumes is due largely to the moratorium on the sale of arable land.  The moratorium on land sales means that large farms depend on land leases, which hampers access to finance and discourages, for the most part, investment in irrigation and drainage.  Gradual opening of the land market beginning in 2021 will allow farmers to use land as collateral and, over the long term, encourage them to invest more in equipment and infrastructure.    Beginning July 2021, agricultural land will be 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.  In addition, the World Bank will provide a loan of $200 million to help Ukraine create a fair and transparent farmland market.  The World Bank estimates that the opening of the land market, together with better targeting of subsidies and improvements in productivity and transparency, could lead to incremental GDP growth of over 2.0 percent per annum over the next several years.   

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

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 capital investments are approximately of $250 per hectare of agricultural land, or about 20 percent of actual need.  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.     

Best Prospects include:

Tractors

Harvesters

Tillage equipment

Seeding equipment

Sprayers and fertilizer distributors

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
  • Irrigation Infrastructure
  • 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 manufacturers).  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 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 percent support for the purchase of Ukrainian agricultural machinery and equipment.  However, according to the Center of Economic Recovery, in 2019 the market share of imported machinery in Ukraine remained high at 67 percent.     

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 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. ExIm Bank reopened its short and medium-term programs in Ukraine for both private and public sector.  This action sends 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.  For many years, Ukraine was the U.S. ExIm Bank’s most active portfolio in the region, with close to $140 million of long-term guarantees provided in 2012. 

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