Ukraine is the third largest agricultural supplier to the EU, according to new figures released by the European Commission in January. Data covering the period from January to October 2023 showed Ukraine in the number three position among agri-food exporters to European Union markets behind first placed Brazil and the United Kingdom, with the United States and China making up the top five.

Ukrainian agricultural exports to the EU rose slightly year-on-year during the featured period, increasing by 1% to EUR 9.7 billion. This represented a significant improvement on Ukraine’s last prewar annual total of EUR 6.9 billion in 2021, with the country’s agricultural producers benefiting from a free trade regime implemented by Brussels to help support the Ukrainian economy in the wake of Russia’s full-scale invasion.

In addition to the negative impact of Russia’s ongoing invasion, Ukrainian agricultural exports have also been hit by a series of export restrictions and border blockades imposed by the country’s EU neighbors amid complaints over growing competition from Ukrainian agribusinesses. Ukrainian agricultural exports are expected to become an increasingly contentious issue in the coming years as Ukraine advances toward full EU membership. Ukraine was granted candidate member status in summer 2022, with EU leaders confirming the decision to officially begin membership talks with Kyiv in December 2023.

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