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Ukraine current account balance switches to surplus in April

Ukraine current account balance switches to surplus in April

31 May 2018

Ukraine’s current account (C/A) balance switched to a
surplus of USD 175 mln in April – after a USD 628 mln deficit in March – owing
to a lower trade deficit and a surplus in secondary income, the National Bank
of Ukraine (NBU) reported on May 30. On a yoy basis, the C/A deficit slid 3.3%
in April, bringing the 4M18 result to a minor deficit of USD 202 mln (vs. a USD
176 mln deficit in 4M17).

 

Due to lower imports of goods, the trade deficit declined
to USD 385 mln from USD 597 mln in March. Meanwhile, the primary income balance
switched to a USD 308 mln surplus from a deficit of USD 369 mln in the previous
month mostly due to lower payments on state debt servicing.

 

External trade in goods swelled in April as goods
exports jumped 19.6% yoy. The lion’s share of export growth occurred with
metals, which surged 65.8% yoy to USD 1 bln, posting the highest result since
August 2014. Another important contributor was food exports, which increased
8.1% yoy after a 16.2% yoy decline in March. Meanwhile, the decline in mineral
product exports accelerated to 13.1% yoy.

 

Goods imports accelerated to 18.1% yoy growth from
1.2% yoy in March owing to machinery (36.2% yoy), chemicals (14.8% yoy) and food
(24.6% yoy).

 

The surplus of Ukraine’s financial and capital account
fell to USD 115 mln in April (from USD 553 mln in the prior month), mainly
because of declining net portfolio investment (USD 16 mln in April vs. USD 207
mln in March) and net currency outflow under trade credits of USD 81 mln (from
net inflow of USD 266 mln in March).

 

The surplus of Ukraine’s combined balance of payments
reached USD 290 mln (vs. USD 970 mln a year ago). For 4M18, the balance of
payments was almost even at a slight surplus of USD 18 mln.

 

Evgeniya Akhtyrko: Goods
exports picked up in April in accordance with our expectations,
however the jump in metal export sales came as a very good surprise. In 4M18,
the growth of exports in goods (18.3% yoy) outpaced import growth (16.6% yoy),
bringing the trade deficit on goods and services to USD 2.2 bln (vs. USD 1.9
bln in 4M18).

 

We expect the trade deficit to swell USD 10.8 bln
through the end of the year, assuming an almost even growth pace between
exports (11.3% yoy in 2018) and imports (11.5% yoy in 2018). Our forecast is
for a 2018 C/A deficit of USD 2.4 bln (vs. a USD 2.1 bln deficit in 2017).

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