Bilateral trade and economic relations
The goods turnover between Ukraine and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2018 amounted to USD 935.88 million. At the same time, the Ukrainian exports totaled USD 749.08 million (or 144.8% compared with the indicators of the same period in 2017), imports – USD 186.80 million (102.1%). The positive balance for Ukraine was USD 562.29 million.
Ukrainian exports consisted mainly of commodity items such as cereals (60.0%), ferrous metals (11.6%), meat and meat preparations (7.7%), animal or plant fats and oils (5,5%). The basis of the Saudi imports to Ukraine was formed by plastics and polymeric materials (86.8%), mineral fuel, petroleum and petroleum distillation products (9.4%).
Kingdom is the world's largest importer of feed barley and wheat used in the livestock industry. The trend of increasing Saudi imports of these products will be permanently stored because the Saudi government stopped support national grain production because of its unprofitability as well as has taken into account the problem of global food crisis.
A favorable factor for Ukraine is a program declared by the KSA to ensure the Kingdom’s strategic food supply. This program provides an investment of Saudi Arabia majorly in the agricultural sector for selected foreign countries based on signed agreements.
In September 2018 the Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company (SALIC) has acquired a large Ukrainian farming company Mriya Agro Holding, thus signing the largest contract in the agricultural sector in the history of Ukraine's independence.
In November 2018 (in the framework of the Sixth Session of the Intergovernmental Ukrainian-Saudi Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation) the expanded joint meeting of the Ukrainian-Saudi Business Council and the first Saudi-Ukrainian agribusiness investment forum were held in the city of Kyiv.
The promising spheres of bilateral trade and economic cooperation are energy (renewable energy sources and their development), construction (infrastructure projects), water management, transport (air, maritime, urban), mechanical engineering and aircraft building.