Merchandise exports of $28 million were made up entirely of coconut products (11 percent) and fish products (89 percent) in 1997. Frozen fish exports have increased from $1.3 million in 1993 to $21.9 million in 1997 as a result of a Chinese fishing fleet that based itself at Majuro. Exports of trochus shells for buttons, ornaments, and making lacquers are not recorded, but there is probably some small informal trade. Diesel used to be re-exported to Micronesia, but this ended in 1996. Exports go mostly to China as a result of the frozen fish expansion, with the United States, Japan, and Australia being other export destinations.
Merchandise imports were $58 million in 1997, with food and beverages making up 31 percent and fuels 23 percent. The rest consisted of consumer manufactures, machinery and transport equipment, and chemicals. The United States supplied 52 percent of imports in 1997, much of which was goods for the U.S. workers at the Kwajalein installation. The next biggest supplier was Singapore with 4 percent.