Fireworks imports from China to Maine have risen sharply this year, up nearly 60 percent in value in advance of the Fourth of July holiday.
From January through April, Maine took in about $414,000 in fireworks from China. That’s up 57.4 percent as the value of those imports nationally dropped about 17 percent through April.
Maine mirrors the nation in its dependence on fireworks imports from China. The country made up about 96 percent of all fireworks imports last year.
While the level of annual imports have fluctuated, they clearly jumped to new levels after 2011, the year that Maine legalized fireworks, allowing municipalities to enact bans or restrictions.
While showing a sharp increase from January through April, that doesn’t necessarily foretell a rise in Chinese fireworks imports for the year in Maine. Last year, sales for those months increased from 2015 and made up about half of the annual $539,235 total.
Despite that increase, Chinese fireworks imports dropped in 2016.