What Does Hawaii Import and Export?

M. Swiet Productions/Moment/Getty Images

Hawaii’s largest imports are crude and petroleum oil, with a total estimated value of slightly over $3 billion. Hawaii also imports aircraft, passenger vehicles, coal, semiconductors, jewelry, precious metals and propane. Hawaii’s exports include aircraft parts, light oils and petroleum, ferrous scrap, fresh shrimp, aluminum waste and scrap, cocoa preparation, stainless steel scrap and paintings and drawings.

Hawaii is the only state comprised entirely of islands and became a state on August 21, 1959. Because of its remote location in the Pacific Ocean, consumer product prices are higher, since so many goods must be imported.

Known as “The Aloha State,” Hawaii was first occupied by Polynesians about 1,500 years ago. Tahitian settlers came later and instituted a social system based on kapu, which means taboo. Captain James Cook landed in Hawaii in 1778, bringing western thoughts and ideas to the Oceania islands. Forty-two years later, in 1820, Protestant missionaries came to Hawaii and established societal standards replacing the Tahitian kapu system. Hawaii became an active seaport, catering to traders and whalers, facilitating Hawaii’s future role as an importer and exporter. When Hawaii became a U.S. territory in 1898, its exports included sugar and fresh fruits, but today sugar is not among Hawaii’s top exports, and the only fresh fruit Hawaii exports in large numbers are papayas.