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Romania became the top importer of Ukrainian agricultural goods in 2023 as war diverted export routes

Photo by Peter Wendt / Unsplash

Romania jumped to the top of the list of importers of Ukrainian agricultural products in 2023 as the Ukraine-Russia war prevented many traditional export routes, the national Institute of Agrarian Economics said.

Romania imported $2.56 billion worth of Ukrainian agricultural goods in 2023, or 13% of Ukraine's farm exports, moving it up from second place in 2022. In 2021, before the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, Romania wasn't even among the top 20 importers of Ukrainian agricultural goods, with imports of merely $150 million.

Poland, which held the top spot in 2022, dropped out of the top 10 in 2023 as the country imposed restrictions on Ukrainian imports to protect its own farmers from price fluctuations and appease local protests. Polish imports of Ukrainian farm goods plunged to $1.8 billion in 2023 from $2.71 billion in 2022.

China held the second spot last year, importing $2.2 billion worth of agricultural produce, followed by Turkey in third spot, with $1.99 billion in imports.

Overall, agricultural produce accounted for 62% of all Ukrainian exports, an increase from 53% in 2022, the institute said.

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