Boosted by booming world iron ore prices, Ukraine’s foreign trade was up 20% to $39.5 billion from January to April,

 compared to the same period last year, reported the State Customs Service. With bills for imported oil and gas rising 18%, to $3.5 billion, imports rose 21%, to $20.4 billion. The trade deficit for the first four months was $1.3 billion.

Although iron ore exports were down 8%, to 14.2 million tons, earnings from Ukraine’s iron ore sales almost doubled, reaching $2.3 billion

. With mines in Brazil and South Africa closed due to Covid-19 infections among staff, the world price of a ton of iron ore has jumped from $40 to $200,  wrote Oleksandr Kalenkov, President of Ukrmetallurgprom, the metals association, on Facebook. Top consumers of Ukrainian iron ore in 2021 are: China – 44%; Poland – 9%; Czech Republic – 9%.