The U.S. Virgin Islands heavily rely on imports to meet their domestic needs and sustain their economy. Refined petroleum and crude petroleum rank as the top two major imports, highlighting the islands' dependence on energy resources. Pharmaceutical products, machinery, vehicles, food products, electrical machinery, iron and steel products, plastics, and optical and medical instruments also play significant roles in the U.S. Virgin Islands' import landscape. The United States serves as the primary trading partner for most import categories, highlighting the islands' close economic ties with the mainland. Other important trading partners include Venezuela for crude petroleum and Japan for vehicle imports. These partnerships contribute to the flow of goods and services that support the U.S. Virgin Islands' economy. Understanding the major imports of the U.S. Virgin Islands provides valuable insights into the islands' economic dynamics and their reliance on external sources for essential goods and resources.
Refined petroleum holds the top spot among the major imports of the U.S. Virgin Islands. The islands import large quantities of petroleum products, including gasoline and diesel, to meet their energy requirements. The closest trading partner for refined petroleum is the United States. The import volume in 2022 was approximately 9 million barrels, valued at around $900 million.
Crude petroleum ranks second in terms of import volume. The U.S. Virgin Islands import crude oil to support their oil refining industry, which includes the Hovensa Refinery on St. Croix. The primary supplier of crude petroleum is Venezuela. In 2022, the import volume reached around 7 million barrels, with a value of approximately $700 million.
Pharmaceutical products are vital imports for the U.S. Virgin Islands, supporting their healthcare system and ensuring access to essential medicines. The United States is the primary trading partner for pharmaceutical imports. The import value of pharmaceuticals in 2022 was approximately $500 million.
Machinery imports play a crucial role in the U.S. Virgin Islands' infrastructure development and industrial growth. These imports encompass a wide range of machinery, including electrical machinery, mechanical appliances, and more. The primary trading partner for machinery imports is the United States. In 2022, the import value of machinery reached approximately $400 million.
Vehicles, including cars, trucks, and motorcycles, are significant imports for the U.S. Virgin Islands, catering to the transportation needs of residents and tourists. The primary trading partner for vehicle imports is Japan. In 2022, the import value of vehicles was approximately $300 million.
Food products, including both fresh produce and processed goods, are important imports to meet the U.S. Virgin Islands' dietary requirements. The closest trading partners for food products are the United States and the neighboring Caribbean countries. The import value of food products in 2022 was approximately $200 million.
Electrical Machinery and Equipment:
Electrical machinery and equipment, such as computers, telecommunication devices, and electronic components, are vital for the U.S. Virgin Islands' technological infrastructure. The primary trading partner for electrical machinery imports is the United States. In 2022, the import value of electrical machinery and equipment reached approximately $150 million.
Iron and Steel Products:
Iron and steel products are essential for construction and infrastructure projects in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The primary trading partner for iron and steel imports is the United States. In 2022, the import value of iron and steel products was approximately $100 million.
Plastics, including plastic articles, are significant imports for the U.S. Virgin Islands, serving various industries such as packaging, construction, and manufacturing. The primary trading partner for plastics is the United States. In 2022, the import value of plastics reached approximately $80 million.
Optical and Medical Instruments:
Optical and medical instruments, including eyewear, surgical instruments, and medical devices, are important imports for the U.S. Virgin Islands' healthcare sector and scientific research. The closest trading partner for optical and medical instrument imports is the United States. In 2022, the import value of optical and medical instruments was approximately $70 million.