What Are The Biggest Industries In Ukraine?

A steel production plant in Ukraine.
A steel production plant in Ukraine.

Ukraine is the largest country wholly in Europe and the second largest country in Europe after Russian’s European part. It is located in Eastern Europe and covers an area of approximately 233,062 square miles (including Crimea), making it the world’s 46th largest country. Ukraine and Russia are currently in a territorial dispute over the Crimean Peninsula. The country has a population of about 42.5 million people (excluding Crimea), making it the world’s 32nd most populous country. The population is multi-ethnic with the majority (78%) being Ukrainians while Russians are the largest minority. Ukraine is a member of several international bodies including the UN, OSCE, Commonwealth of Independent States, Council of Europe, and GUAM Organization.

Economy Of Ukraine

The economy of Ukraine can be described as an emerging free market, meaning that it has similar characteristics as a developed market. It is still considered a developing country, ranking 88th in the Human Development Index. The country has the 2nd lowest GDP per capita in Europe. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the GDP of Ukraine fell sharply for 10 years and only begun to grow rapidly from 2000 to 2008. The economy was again affected by the 2008-2009 Ukraine final crisis as a result of the worldwide Great Recession. Today, the country has the lowest median wealth per adult in the world. Ukraine also suffers from a high poverty rate and corruption. Ironically, the country has thriving industries, accounting for about 26% of the total GDP (2012). Here are some of the biggest industries in Ukraine.


Ukraine is one of the countries with the largest natural gas reserves in the world, estimated at 1.1 trillion cubic meters. In 1975, it produced an average of 68 billion cubic meters of gas. However, since then the production has been on the decline and has stagnated at around 20 billion cubic meters. Between 2011 and 2015, Ukraine raised gas production levels in the Black Sea from 1 billion cubic meters to 3 billion cubic meters. About 90% of the oil used in Ukraine is imported, mainly from Russia. Russia also owns and operates most of Ukraine’s refining plants. However, the country supplies its electricity and also exports some to Russia and other European countries. Electricity is mainly generated from nuclear power and dams.


Ukraine is among the largest mineral producers in the world, boasting of over 7,500 different deposits containing some 90 individual minerals. Of the several minerals found in the country, 20 are profitable. More than half of the known deposits are currently under exploration. Ukraine has about 47 billion tons of coal reserves and domestic demand for coal fuel of approximately 100 million tons per year. About 85% of the demanded coal fuel can be met through domestic production and the other 15% is mainly imported from Russia. Ukraine also has large oil and gas fields are able to meet approximately 10% of its oil and 20% of its gas consumption. The country’s natural gas reserve is approximately 39.5 trillion cubic feet but only 20% is met, meaning that Ukraine is still not producing to its capacity. Other important minerals in the country include iron ore (approximately 28 billion tons), chalk and limestone (1.5 billion tons), and manganese ore (3 billion tons). The mining sector has been slowed by the constant energy shortage.

Aircraft And Aerospace

Ukraine has a complete cycle of aerospace production. It designs and produces passengers and transport aircraft and also has the capacity to repair aircraft and has companies that are involved in the recovery of helicopters and military planes. Currently, Ukraine is producing the An-148 aircraft with 35 units produced since 2009. The gross production of aircraft in the country is less than 200 units annually. About 1,000 units of paragliders and hang-gliders are produced annually, most of which are exported to the countries such as the US, New Zealand, the UK, Australia, and France. Since the 2013 Ukrainian Crisis, revenue from the aerospace industry has dropped by about 80%.


Although the economy of Ukraine mainly relies on manufacturing, agriculture still plays an important role in the country’s economy. The agricultural sector accounted for about 8.3% of the GDP in 2008 and grown by 2% in 2012 to 10.4%. In the same year (2012) the sector accounted for US$ 40 billion of the economic value added. Ukraine is one of the top ten producers of variety of crops including corn and wheat. However, it still ranks 24th in overall agricultural production. It is the leading producer of sunflower oil, one of the major producers and exporters of grain, and also a global player in the sugar, dairy, and meat markets. Ukraine is also among the leading nut producers. No country in Europe produces high quality and quantity of natural honey than Ukraine. About 1.5% of the country’s population is currently engaged directly or indirectly in honey production. With 30% of the world’s richest black soil, Ukraine has a great potential to grow its agricultural industry.


Ukraine is Europe’s 8th most popular destination, attracting over 20 million visitors every year (2012). However, since 2014, the number of tourists visiting the country has declined to about 10 million. Most tourists come from Eastern and Western Europe as well as Israel and Turkey. The tourism industry is mainly considered underdeveloped but plays a crucial role in supporting the country’s economy. In 2012, the sector accounted for 2.2% of the GDP and 1.7% of the workforce or 351,000 jobs. Some of the major attractions in Ukraine include the Carpathian Mountains, beaches along the coast of the Black Sea, vineyards, churches, and mosques. Other cities are also well known for tourism such as the old city of Lviv and the harbor town of Odesa.

Other Notable Industries

Other industries that also play a significant role in the development of the economy of Ukraine include chemical, automotive, and shipbuilding industries. There are about 50 shipbuilding companies in Ukraine that are capable of building a wide range of vessels. There are 12 automobile companies in the country where the automotive industry mainly produces diesel locomotives, trucks, and tractors.


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