How Ukrainian labor migrants influence the currency market of Ukraine

Author : Oleksandr Okhrymenko

Source : 112 Ukraine

Future of the Ukrainian economy is not defined by president's loud talks about reforms and investment climate
19:00, 3 November 2017

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Recently, there are little debates about the course of the hryvnia. This can be called a positive phenomenon. No disputes - no currency panic. But in this situation, the question arises: what really happens to our currency market this year?

According to Ukraine’s National Bank, for 9 months of 2017, Ukraine's balance of payments has worked with a surplus of just under $ 1.9 billion, which is almost $ 1 billion more than last year. It is just a wonderful indicator. A surplus is always better than a deficit. Therefore, it is not surprising that this year Ukraine has faced revaluation, not the devaluation of hryvnia. So do not be surprised if at the end of the year the dollar exchange rate will be below UAH 26.

Related: Eastern and Central Europe is zone without migrants, - Orban

Foreign trade for 9 months of 2017 showed a drawback – $ 4.2 billion. At the same time, foreign trade in goods in general showed a $ 6 billion minus, and only a plus in foreign trade is in services (payment of gas transportation services from Russia) reduced the overall minus from foreign trade. For Ukraine, foreign trade is both a blessing and a curse. As soon as exports are growing, imports are also growing, and, as a rule, faster than exports. Ukraine is not only an export-oriented country, but an import-dependent country, so it is almost impossible to break this vicious circle. We have a large share of imported energy, chemistry and engineering products. It is impossible to grow grain without imported diesel fuel, fertilizers, and combines.

This year, foreign creditors of Ukraine were paid interest and dividends worth $ 4.6 billion, which is $ 0.5 billion more than a year ago. Although this year foreign investments do not harry up to enter Ukraine, despite statements by the president, premier and various experts that the investment climate in Ukraine has improved. For 9 months of 2017 net inflow of direct foreign investments amounted to only $ 2 billion. This is $ 1 billion less than a year ago. If compared with 2013, it is less by $ 6 billion.

Related: Since beginning of 2017, more than 2 thousand migrants died on way to Europe, - UN

About $ 1 billion this year, Ukrainian companies attracted foreign investors in the form of loans. The bad news is that this is not mainly money, but commodity loans. Foreign business is clearly in no hurry to invest money in Ukrainian business and does not want to lend money. At the moment, only the government of Ukraine is gaining money in debt. This saves the situation, but drives the Ukrainian economy into a dead end.


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And, finally, following the results of 9 months of 2017, the foreign exchange market of Ukraine is in plus. For January-September of 2017 in Ukraine, only through official channels, $ 6.3 billion was received from migrant workers. In the ten months of this year, Ukrainians changed their cash currency by USD 2.3 billion more than bought up dollars. As a result, due to this currency, it was possible to cover losses on foreign trade and pay interest on foreign debts. Without this money, Ukraine's balance of payments would have a huge demerit. As you can see, the saving of the Ukrainian economy is somewhat in a different plane than talking about reforms and investment climate. At the moment, all the hopes are set for Ukrainian labor migrants. The more Ukrainians leave for earnings abroad and bring the currency to Ukraine, the better it will be for Ukraine's balance of payments. It will bring to hryvnia revaluation.

Related: About 40 Ukrainians detained in Italy for illegal shipment of migrants

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