Ukraine economy can be classified as developed economy, given its overall level of industrial and agricultural output. However, the economy of Ukraine suffered because of various weaknesses deriving from overcentralized command economy during Soviet period.
Ukraine economy past
Large and inefficient state-owned factories, enterprises and collective farms wasted resources and emphasized quantity over quality. Prices were arbitrarily set, and consumer goods were often in short supply. Excessive spending on the military hurt the civilian economy, while technological development lagged in the civilian sphere.
Ukraine market economy
For the last years Ukraine is moving to market economy, where the forces of supply and demand and private ownership guide the allocation of resources. The transition to market economy is politically and socially difficult because the populace must endure rising inflation, unemployment, and economic uncertainty before it experiences the long-term benefits of market economy.
In addition, Ukraine redefines its economic relations with Russia and other former Soviet republics. As a way of safeguarding its political independence and limiting its economic vulnerability, Ukraine has its own national currency, called the hryvnia, from 1992. The economic reforms also cut military production and convert military factories and technologies to benefit the civilian economy and the populace.
Ukraine economy real GDP dynamics 1998-2006
Ukraine economy consumer prices dynamics 1994-2006
Ukraine economy: Agriculture
Historically, Ukraine is well known for its agricultural production. Among its main agricultural products are sugar beets, wheat, meat, and dairy products. Other crops include barley, corn, rye, and tobacco.
Most Ukraine farms are very large state-owned farms of more than 8,000 acres (3,000 ha). Smaller private plots have historically been the most productive throughout the former Soviet Union, and their importance should grow in the future.
Ukraine economy: Resources
Ukraine mineral resources have played an important role in supporting Ukraine industrial development and in providing for its energy needs. During the 1980s nuclear power also became a significant source of electrical power, accounting for about 25% of Ukraine’s electricity.
The accident at Chernobyl power station in 1986, however, created strong opposition to nuclear power in Ukraine, and efforts are now being made to phase out reliance on nuclear energy.
Ukraine economy: Industries
Ukrainian major industries are metalworks, machine building, construction, chemicals, food, and light industry. Ukraine is a major producer of steel and iron. Ukraine accounted for 33% of Soviet steel and iron production. About one-third of its industrial manufacturing comes from machine-building sector, which produces tractors, machine tools, and mining equipment.
Transportation vehicles manufactured by Ukraine economy include cars, trucks, buses, railway cars, diesel locomotives, airplanes, and ships.
The chief output of Ukrainian chemical industry is fertilizer, while Ukrainian food industry is involved with sugar refining, meat packaging, food canning, and wine production. Among consumer goods produced are television sets, refrigerators, washing machines, and clothes.
Ukraine economy: Transportation system
Overall, Ukraine has a well-developed and diverse transportation system. Ukrainian railroad network is extensive and links major cities with industrial enterprises. Waterways such as Dnepr River and Black Sea and Azov sea, and their port cities, play an important role in shipping.
Ukrainian highway system comprises about 147,000 kilometers (91,000 miles) of paved roads. Ukrainian subway systems exist in Kiev and Kharkov. There are major airports near Kiev (at Boryspil), Kharkov and Odessa cities.
Ukraine economy: Export and Import
Ukrainian major exports include grain, sugar beets, coal, construction equipment, and select manufactured goods.
The primary Ukrainian import items are oil, natural gas, wood products, rubber, and consumer goods. Some of Ukraine major trading partners are Russia, Poland, USA, Hungary, Germany, France, and Iran. Ukraine is seeking to reduce its economic ties with Russia.
Ukraine economy export and import 1996-2006