Analysis

How important is Ukraine to world seaborne trade?

Both Europe and Russia claim to be trying to neutralise the internal conflict in Ukraine. However, they may not be able to prevent the conflct escalating to a level that causes the east/west facing country to pull apart. If the country were to fragment, it may have implications for world trade.

 

In terms of trade, Ukraine is most often in the headlines as the transit country for Russian natural gas piped to Europe. If this supply route is threatened, then Europe will be faced with an energy crisis.

Ukraine is also a reasonably important exporter of raw and semi finished commodities. For example, it is the world's sixth largest producer of iron ore (albeit with output equivalent to just 5% of Australia). Steel products. aggregates and wheat/grain are other important export commodities