Maui Business

Ag Shipments Down 40% from Maui

August 22, 2017, 11:03 AM HST
* Updated August 22, 11:06 AM
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Young Brothers, Limited announced that intrastate cargo volumes between Honolulu and six neighbor island ports increased 1.2% in the second quarter of 2017, compared to the same time last year. For the first six months of 2017, cargo volumes grew only 0.7%.

YB says the decrease follows a 34.2% drop in agriculture shipments from Kahului in the first quarter, driven largely by the closure of Maui’s last sugar refinery. PC: Wendy Osher

“The two Hawai‘i Island ports of Hilo and Kawaihae drove the modest cargo volume increase for the second quarter,” said Roy Catalani, vice president of Young Brothers. “This positive outcome can be largely attributed to construction equipment and construction materials for the Big Island’s highway projects, as well as an increase in new and used automobile volumes.”

Three neighbor island ports experienced gains in cargo volume for the second quarter of 2017: Hilo, up 8.4%; Kawaihae, up 3.3%; and Kaunakakai, up 9.7%.

The remaining three ports experienced declines in cargo volume: with Kahului, the largest neighbor island port in terms of volume, down 4.0%; Nāwiliwili down 0.8%; and Kaumalapau down 2.5%.

Agricultural Cargo Volume Down Again in Second Quarter of the Year

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Agricultural sector volumes were down 5.3%, YB says that number was primarily driven by the closure of the Maui Farmers Co-Op, which previously utilized all three weekly Young Brothers sailings from Kahului to Honolulu to ship cabbage and Maui “Kula” sweet onions.

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Agricultural shipments from Kahului alone were down 39.8% for the second quarter, compared to the same time last year. YB says the decrease follows a 34.2% drop in agriculture shipments from Kahului in the first quarter, driven largely by the closure of Maui’s last sugar refinery.

Agricultural shipments from Honolulu also fell significantly, down 10.4%. However, YB announced that Hilo was up 2.0%; Kawaihae up 14.4%; Nāwiliwili up 15.5%; and Kaunakakai up 1.8%.

Agricultural volume includes only cargo that qualifies for the company’s island agricultural product discount of 30 to 35%, which applies to locally grown agricultural products.

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