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Current Account and Overall Balance of Payments’ Surplus in November

29 December 2017

Press Release


According to the preliminary estimates in November 2017 the current account was almost balanced (the surplus was USD 18 million compared with the deficit in October of USD 315 million) due to decreased merchandise trade deficit and further increase in remittances. 


According to results in January - November 2017, the current account deficit amounted to USD 3.0 billion maintaining the previous year’s level. The deficit increase due to accelerated imports, primarily energy and investment imports, was restrained by favorable external economic conditions, last year's high yields, and continuing rise in exports of services.


In November, exports of goods accounted for USD 3.9 billion. Annual growth rates (17.3%) remain generally unchanged compared with October indicators.


·         In November, metals’ exports increased by 1.5 yoy due to sufficient raise in export volumes of ferrous metals and products, as well as increased world prices.

·         Export volumes of machinery products almost doubled year over year as a result of booted exports to China.

·         However, for the first time this year food exports decreased by 2.8% yoy. Shipments of sunflower oil also decreased (by 14.6% yoy) in response to gradual depletion of residual inventory caused by intensive exports in the previous periods and low sunflower yields this year.


Overall in January - November 2017, exports of goods rose by 20.1% yoy. EU remained Ukraine’s largest trading partner, with its share in total exports of goods reaching 35.3%.


In November, imports of goods amounted to USD 4.7 billion. Imports growth decelerated to 17.1% (from 22.1% yoy in October) primarily on account of machinery products and petroleum products.


·         Slowing down imports of machinery products (to 20.6% yoy from 33.1% yoy in October) can be principally associated with decreased procurement of farming machinery (by 24.8% yoy) and nuclear fuel for domestic nuclear power plants (by 12.2% yoy).

·         Petroleum product imports decreased to 9.7% yoy (from 31.1% yoy in October) due to decreased gasoline shipments from Belarus. At the same time, domestic market deficit caused 2.2-fold yoy increase in costs of coal imports. Also import volumes of natural gas remained high, though the yoy indicator was lower resulting from a high comparison base.


In January - November, imports of goods rose by 21.8% yoy on account of high-volume procurement of energy and machinery products. Imports from the EU increased to 37.5% of the total goods imports.


Net financial account inflows amounted to USD 478 million (compared with USD 73 million in November 2016) and were generated mostly by banking operations.


In November, net external bank assets diminished by USD 379 million in response to purchasing domestic government bonds denominated in foreign currency. Foreign currency cash  outside the banking system rose by USD 93 million mainly on account of inflows from migrant workers.


Inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI) amounted to USD 169 million, with the banking sector being the major recipient of FDI in the form of bail-in operations (62% or USD 105 million).


In January through November 2017, the financial account recorded net inflows of USD 5.5 billion (USD 3.9 billion in the same period last year). Net FDI inflows since the beginning of the year and as of the end of November was estimated at USD 2.1 billion (with bail-in operations accounting for 27%).  


In November, the balance of payments recorded a surplus of USD 491 millionOn this account, international reserves increased to USD 18.9 billion as of 1 December 2017, covering 3.7 months of future imports.


As of the end of November the balance of payments surplus reached USD 2.6 billion year-to-date, which was higher than the surplus for the same period in the last year.


Updated results of November 2017 are available under the External Sector Statistics section.


See the Macroeconomic and Monetary Review (December 2017) for more details on macroeconomic developments in October, which will be published on 29 December 2017.


Last modification   29.12.2017