Ukraine can be divided into three economic areas: Southwestern, Donets-Dnipro and Southern.
The Southwestern Economic Area has a high population density, a dense network of roads and railways. This places the area in a favourable position with supplies of metals and fuel for its machine-building plants and the shipping of products to consumers. The largest reserves of minerals and the valuable wood of the Carpathian forests are used in the chemical, gas, mining, timber, paper and porcelain industries.
Local agriculture forms the basis of the food industry. The top position is held by the sugar industry. The area is widely known for its grain-milling industry and produces vast amounts of butter, cheese, meat, fruit and vegetables. A high degree of development has been achieved in the meat and dairy industry.
The engineering industry produces test instruments, machine tools and electrical engineering equipment. Buses turned out by the Lviv plant have won great popularity. The area also produces river craft, trams, motorcycles, radio instrumentation, television sets and cameras.
In the Carpathian zone the timber, furniture and paper industries have developed substantially.
The Donets-Dnipro Economic Area has rich mineral deposits. It has major industrial base with bias towards heavy industry. A large industrial output is yielded by the mining, ferrous metallurgy, chemical and machine-building industries. The Donets Basin contains a cluster of plants producing zinc, mercury, fertilizers, plastics, soda, acids and dyes. The development of the coke and chemical industry is closely allied to the metallurgical and coal industry. The area has the greatest concentration of thermal and hydroelectric power stations in Ukraine.
Alongside with the high level of industrialization, the area is one of the main food suppliers for the country. The Donbas produces vegetable oil, meat and milk products, sugar and butter.
The proximity of the Southern Economic Area to the sea is reflected in its industry, with shipbuilding its key sector. Local factories produce machinery for the power industry, tractors and harvesters.
The chemical industry is related to the sea, with its abundance of algae and saline deposits in lagoons and lakes. Fishing and canning industries in the seaside cities are developing. The food industry is allied with the cultivation of grapes, fruit and vegetables. Southern Ukraine is a large producer of grape wines, canned fruit and vegetables. The area, especially the Crimea, is a holiday playground.