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.

To speed the delivery of Ukrainian iron ore to Polish steelmakers, Ukrzaliznytsia has started to electrify a key bottleneck:

 a 94 km stretch of track between Kovel, Volyn oblast, and Izov, on the Polish border. The crossing handles 90% of the freight tonnage between the two countries, largely iron ore from Kryvyi Rih. By eliminating diesel locomotives, UZ will be able to cut air pollution, shorten delivery times and increase the weight of trains by 30%, said Ivan Yuryk, UZ’s Acting Board Chairman.