China Accounts For 94% Of U.S. Fireworks Imports

America’s Fourth of July celebrations are going to be a much quieter affair this year as states battle to contain a major resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic. Even though many cities have scrapped their fireworks displays, some shows are still taking place, though they will mostly involve high-altitude pyrotechnics best viewed from a distance. Last year, the National Retail Federation found that 40% of Americans planned to attend a fireworks display as part of their Fourth of July itinerary and that has slumped to 24% for 2020. Despite the toned-down celebrations, the U.S. still imported a huge quantity of fireworks through April of this year – 40,700 tons worth $100 million.

That’s according to an overview of America’s primary trade partners for pyrotechnics in 2019. The U.S. fireworks industry is highly reliant on China, given that imports have long outstripped domestic production. Even though the Trump administration’s trade war with Beijing has caused widespread trepidation within the U.S. fireworks industry, it seems like pyrotechnic imports from China have largely escaped its impact. In 2019, China was the origin of 95% of all bottle rockets, roman candles and other pyrotechnics brought into the country. They had a value of $336 million and a total weight of 129,000 tons.

Spain and Hong Kong were the second-biggest source of U.S. fireworks imports in 2019 with a 1.4% share of the total. Which comes second in terms of import value with nearly $5 million, a miniscule amount compared to China. Germany came fourth with 1.3% while Thailand rounded off the top-five with 0.5%. The port of Los Angeles handled the bulk of America’s pyrotechnic imports last year at 36% while Long Beach took in 25% and Newark handled 17%.