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A change in the traditional items of Ukraine's export

T. Ostashko, V. Lir, V. Venger, V. Olefir, O. Bykonia

Economy and Forecasting, 2017, issue 2, 57-74

Abstract: During 2012-2016, domestic commodity exports declined annually. This trend is dangerous for the national economy, which is characterized by excessive dependence on the external conjuncture. The purpose of the article is to identify external and internal reasons of the reduction of commodity exports and to suggest ways and means to overcome this negative trend. The article focuses on the main export markets and the basic and traditional commodity groups of domestic exports. Based on the analysis of domestic and international statistics, study of foreign trade agreements, domestic and foreign scientific publications on the problems of foreign trade, strategies and development programs of domestic exports and other information materials, the main factors of the deterioration of external and domestic market conditions have been identified, and ways and methods of overcoming those negative tendencies have been systematized and generalized. Among the results that have elements of scientific novelty, one can mention the following: 1) identification of certain endogenous factors that hold back the growth and diversification of Ukrainian exports (institutional incapacity of the state-owned companies; the limited character of existing trade agreements (if any) between Ukraine and countries with a high potential for encouraging Ukraine's exports); a comprehensive analysis of the current condition of foreign trade with the People's Republic of China, Turkey and Kazakhstan; an in-depth analysis of the global and domestic market conditions for metallurgical products. An example of institutional incapacity of the state-owned companies to enhance exports is the activities of the State Food and Grain Corporation of Ukraine (SFGCU). In 2012, the SFGCU and the Export-Import Bank of China agreed on the provision of a loan of $ 3 billion to the Ukrainian corporation under state guarantees. Half of the loan was intended for the purchase of grain (mainly maize) for further export to the People's Republic of China through the mediation of the Chinese National Machine Industry and General Contract Corporation. The second half of the loan was intended for the purchase of Chinese agricultural machinery and material resources for with subsequent delivery to Ukraine. With lowering world prices for maize in 2014, the SFGCU actually refused to comply with several provisions of the contract, after which the Chinese party filed a lawsuit against Ukraine to the London International Arbitral Tribunal for damages of $ 3 billion. At the same time, a partial resumption of Ukraine's export of maize to China is possible subject to the solution of certain Ukraine's domestic institutional problems - from those that lie within the control of government institutions involved in contractual relations with the Chinese party, to the development of the system of phytosanitary control in Ukraine. A unique situation has arisen in trade between Ukraine and Kazakhstan. In order to ensure its economic security and national interests, the Russian Federation has substantially complicated the transit of Ukrainian goods to Kazakhstan from January 2016, and since July 2016, it even temporarily banned the transit, through its territory, of those Ukrainian goods, which are subject to import duty with rates different from 0, as well as goods on which import embargo was imposed in accordance with the Decree of the Government of Russian Federation No. 778 of 07.08.2014. Actually the transit ban involved 90% of all Ukrainian exports to Kazakhstan. The most suffered are the exporters of machine-building and metallurgical products, whose deliveries decreased by 3 and 5 times, respectively. To restore exports to Kazakhstan, it is expedient, using the WTO mechanisms and procedures, to attain the lift of the ban on the transit of Ukrainian goods through the territory of the Russian Federation, as well as to intensify the activities of creating transport corridors bypassing the territory of the Russian Federation for the delivery of goods to Kazakhstan and Central Asian countries, in particular, using the TRACECA corridor. To expand the exports of metallurgical products, it is necessary to carry out the following measures: to raise the quality of products by raising the volume of steel production in electric furnaces, converters, and creating mini and micro plants as businesses able to react promptly and flexibly to fluctuations in the market of metal products; to increase the output of hot rolled sheet on broadband hot rolling mills based on new technologies and equipment; and to expand the range of metal rolling, in particular to increase the production of cold-rolled sheet with protective coating. Analysis of the world market of metallurgical products shows a necessity of: development of the production of high-quality transformer and automotive thin-sheet steel; expansion of the production of gas and oil pipes with external and internal coverage by introducing new high-tech technologies; increase in the production of high-quality pipes from continuous cast billets on high-performance continuous rolling mills and the organization of production of new grades of steel with increased corrosion resistance for oil extraction and transportation. The implementation of these and other measures justified in the article would help overcome the negative tendency of reduction in domestic commodity exports.

Date: 2017
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