Japanese and Korean markets are available to Ukraine.
Exports from Ukraine are recovering after the collapse of 2020 caused by the pandemic. Against the backdrop of growing demand around the world, there is a potential for increasing supplies from producers of agricultural raw materials and food products. RBC-Ukraine.
By the end of 2021, China has secured the status of the largest export market for Ukraine not only in Asia, but also among all countries. In second place in the Asian region for Ukrainian exports is India.
Other large Asian markets account for small volumes of deliveries from Ukrainian exporters. Among other things, the share of Japan is about 0.5% of exports from Ukraine, Korea, and even less – 0.4%.
As can be seen from the study of the Office for Enterprise Development and Export, Ukraine has much greater potential for more active trade expansion in these countries, especially when it comes to food and agricultural products.
Japanese and Korean food markets are import dependent. About 60% of all food consumed by the Japanese is imported into the country from abroad. In Korea, this figure is even higher – 70%. Among the imported foodstuffs, most of all are meat, fish and seafood, as well as cereals.
Given the different population sizes, the volumes of these markets differ. Japan imports twice as much as Korea in all food categories, except for meat preparations – 6 times more, and grains – 50% more.
And although imports of finished food products have been growing here in recent years, in Japan, due to the pandemic, in 2020 there was a drop in external supplies. At the same time, Ukraine, on the contrary, managed to increase the export of agricultural and food products to these countries – by 81% to Japan and by 25% – to Korea. The data of the State Statistics Service for 11 months of last year show that Ukrainian exports to Japan in these categories increased again (+5% compared to January-November 2020), while to Korea, on the contrary, fell by 27.4%.
According to the Enterprise Development and Export Office, the priority product groups for imports to Japan and Korea include honey, frozen and processed fruits and vegetables, breakfast cereals, confectionery, and sunflower oil and meat. Ukrainian companies do not supply much of this in large volumes.
The example of honey shows that the potential of the food markets of these two countries for Ukrainian exports is clearly underestimated. For 11 months, Ukraine supplied honey to Japan for $3.51 million, which is almost 300% more than in the same period a year earlier. In general, 95% of honey in Japan is an imported product, which comes mainly from China, New Zealand and Canada.
“In order to successfully export to these countries, Ukrainian companies first need to study the market well, communicate with local importers about their expectations and adapt their products to market requirements. In addition, it is important to remember that it is very important for partners from Japan and the Republic of Korea to build trust between partners, so we should expect a long game,” explained Olga Gvozdeva, Advisor to the Director of the Office for Entrepreneurship and Export Development.