Nicknamed the Aloha State or Paradise of the Pacific, Hawaii imported a total US$1.9 billion worth of products in 2020.
That dollar amount represents a massive -49.4% decline from 2019 to 2020 and a -34.7% drop over the 4-year period starting in 2017.
Hawaii’s total spending on imports equals a tiny 0.1% of America’s overall amount spent on products imported into the United States of America during 2020. Overall US imports cost $2.407 trillion for 2020.
With its population equal to 1.46 million, Hawaii ranks as the 11th smallest in terms compared to all 50 American states.
By dividing Hawaii’s $1.9 billion spent on purchasing imported goods in 2020 by the state’s population count, we arrive at a metric that translates to $1,325 for each Hawaiian resident.
A tropical archipelago in the Pacific Ocean roughly 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers) distant from the American mainland, Hawaii is comprised of over 130 islands many of which are volcanic.
Hawaii’s Leading Imports (NAIC)
Based on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) classifications, Hawaii’s spending on imported oil and gas represents 34.5% of the state’s total imports by value. Petroleum and coal products account for another 17.1% of Hawaiian imports by value in 2020.
Other leading imports for Hawaii organized under NAIC classifications are transportation equipment (11%), food (5%), furniture and fixtures (3.3%), machinery excluding electrical (3.1%), fish and other marine products (2.5%), products made from plastics or rubber (2.2%), non-metallic mineral products (2%), miscellaneous fabricated metal products (also 2%), computers and similar electronic items (1.7%), and electrical equipment, appliances and components (1.6%).
Hawaii’s Leading Imports (HTS)
At the more detailed 6-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level, Hawaii’s most valuable imported products are: crude petroleum oils; miscellaneous petroleum oils; light petroleum oils; mid-sized automobiles powered by piston engine; large automobiles powered by piston engine; liquified propane; wood kitchen furniture excluding seats; automobiles (with spark ignition & electric engines); and non-white Portland cement.
Most of the above detailed imports are at least partially consumer products. Exceptions are crude oil, liquified propane and non-white Portland cement. Those commodities are intermediate products or raw materials which must be further processed before purchased in final form by consumers.
Hawaii’s Top Consumer Imports
Listed below are the top imported final products that are typically used by consumers.
The product descriptions shown correspond with those used at the 6-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level.
- Miscellaneous petroleum oils: US$201 million (10.4%)
- Light petroleum oils: $147 million (7.6%)
- Mid-sized automobiles (piston engine): $93 million (4.8%)
- Large automobiles (piston engine): $58 million (3%)
- Wood kitchen furniture excluding seats: $22 million (1.1%)
- Automobiles (both spark ignition & electric engines): $22 million (1.1%)
- Tuna: $19 million (1%)
- Malt beer: $12 million (0.6%)
- Upholstered seats with wooden frames: $10 million (0.5%)
- Baked goods like bread, cakes, biscuits, pastries: $10 million (0.5%)
- Miscellaneous wood furniture: $10 million (0.5%)
- Miscellaneous made-up textile items: $9 million (0.5%)
- Wood bedroom furniture: $9 million (0.5%)
- Beef cuts (boneless, frozen): $8 million (0.4%)
- Lithium ion batteries: $7 million (0.4%)
- Prepared/preserved fruits: $7 million (0.4%)
- Water-sport items including waterskis, surfboards: $7 million (0.4%)
- Plastic bottles, flasks, similar items: $6 million (0.3%)
- Miscellaneous food preparations: $6 million (0.3%)
Collectively, Hawaii’s top 19 imported consumer products above exceed one-third (34.3%) of the overall value of the Aloha State’s total imported goods.
From 2019 to 2020, importers in Hawaii increased their purchases of miscellaneous textile goods at the fastest pace via an 800% gain.
In second place for higher growth year over year was Hawaii’s imported wood kitchen furniture excluding seats (up 69.2%). The only other gains from 2019 to 2020 were Hawaiian imports of wood bedroom furniture (up 12.5%) and baked goods including bread, cakes, biscuits and pastries (up 11.1%).
Leading the decliners for Hawaii’s imported consumer goods were energy products, automobiles and food products. Miscellaneous petroleum oils fell in value by -56.5% from 2019 to 2020 while light petroleum oils slowed by -48.8%. Imports of large automobiles powered by piston engines depreciated by -37.6% while imported tuna reduced by -35%.
Similarly, Hawaiian purchases of imported mid-sized automobiles with piston engine lessened by -35% compared to frozen boneless beef cuts which decreased in spending amount by -27.3%.
Main Suppliers for Hawaii’s Imports by Country
From an international trade perspective, Hawaii imported well over four-fifths (83.6%) worth of the total value of its products from its top 15 international suppliers below.
- Japan: US$291 million (15.1%)
- South Korea: $224 million (11.6%)
- Russia: $188 million (9.7%)
- China: $143 million (7.4%)
- Canada: $123 million (6.4%)
- Angola: $107 million (5.5%)
- Congo: $91 million (4.7%)
- Vietnam: $75 million (3.9%)
- Libya: $66 million (3.4%)
- Malaysia: $63 million (3.2%)
- Taiwan: $59 million (3.1%)
- Argentina: $50 million (2.6%)
- Sudan: $49 million (2.5%)
- Brazil: $46 million (2.4%)
- Indonesia: $40 million (2.1%)
Approaching one-half (46.4%) of Hawaii’s spending on imported goods went were collected by major sources in 7 Asian countries (Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Indonesia). Hawaii imported another 16.1% worth was imported from top African trade partners (Angola, Congo, Libya and Sudan) while 9.7% came from European supplier Russia.
Hawaii’s imports from 6 main trade partners increased in value from 2019 to 2020 namely Sudan (up 250%), Malaysia (up 125%), Vietnam (up 82.9%), Brazil (up 31.4%), Canada (up 20.6%) and Indonesia (up 14.3%).
More great research: California’s Top Imported Consumer Products by Value, Florida’s Most Valuable Imported Consumer Products, United Kingdom’s Top 100 Imported Consumer Products, Saudi Arabia’s 100 Main Imported Consumer Products by Sales, Chile’s 100 Most Valuable Imported Consumer Products
Independent insights and analysis presented in this article are based on researched facts and statistics sourced from the following educational portals.
Department of Numbers, GDP (dollars shown in real terms).
Forbes, The World’s Biggest Public Companies.
International Trade Centre, Trade Map.
Pixabay, Aloha Hawaii mural.