Business Briefs


POSTED: Saturday, February 21, 2009

Isle gas prices continue higher

Gasoline prices gained three to four cents a gallon throughout the islands from a week ago, according to AAA. Statewide, the gas price average rose by three cents over the past week at $2.42 a gallon.

Yesterday's average price in Honolulu was $2.35 a gallon for unleaded, three cents more than last week's price, 10 cents higher than last month, and $1.01 lower than this time last year. In Hilo, the average price was $2.50 a gallon, three cents more than last week, a dime more than last month, and 96 cents lower than this time last year. The average price in Wailuku was $2.56 a gallon, four cents more from last week, up seven cents from last month, and $1.30 lower than last year.

“;Prices increases continued this week reflecting the ongoing trend on the mainland,”; AAA Hawaii Regional Manager Richard Velazquez said in a statement.


Costco Kapolei to open Friday

Costco Wholesale Corp. is getting ready to open it seventh warehouse in the isles at Kapolei next Friday.

The new, 160,000-square-foot Costco will open 8 a.m. February 27 at the southeast corner of Kalaeloa Boulevard and Kapolei Parkway.

It will offer a Costco gas station and tire center, as well as an optical department, 1-hour photo, pharmacy, hearing aid center and food court. Members will recognize many of the same items in bakery, meat, produce, deli and rotisserie chicken.

Previously, Kapolei residents had to drive about 12 miles east to Waipio, 20 miles east to Iwilei or 30 miles east to Hawaii Kai to shop at Costco.

Max Ramos is Costco Kapolei's warehouse manager, overseeing about 250 employees that were hired for the new location.


Bankoh to offer free financial series

Bank of Hawaii said recently it will host a series of free financial education seminars from February 28 and running through March 14. Sessions will be held on Oahu, the Big Island, Kauai and Maui.

The “;Bank of Hawaii Smart Money”; seminars will discuss topics including saving and investing, fraud protection and how to use credit wisely.

The seminars are open to everyone and will be led by financial experts from Bank of Hawaii. No products or services will be sold at the sessions.

For more information, visit www.boh.com/seminars or call (888) 643-3888, press zero, and ask about the seminars.


Isle cattle numbers decline 1%

Cattle and calves on Hawaii's ranches as of January 1 were estimated at 150,000 head, down 1 percent, or 2,000 head, from January 1, 2008.

Beef cows made up 56 percent of the total herd at 84,400 head, up 2 percent from a year ago. Milk cows totaled 1,600 head on January 1, 2009, down 30 percent from a year earlier. Another commercial dairy closed during 2008, which left the state with two commercial dairies at the end of the year, according to data released earlier this week by the state Department of Agriculture.

Heifers weighing 500 pounds or more totaled 19,000 head on January 1, down 5 percent from a year earlier.

Farm slaughter remained steady at 1,000 head for 2008. Cattle and calf deaths totaled 7,000 head in 2008, 2,000 head more than 2007 as drought conditions took a toll on animals.

Exports of cattle and calves totaled 43,000 head in 2008, down 16 percent from 2007. Calves (animals weighing less than 500 pounds) accounted for the bulk of exports at 41,000 head, or 95 percent of the 2008 total.

Steers accounted for 53 percent of the total, or 23,000 head, while heifers totaled 19,000 head in 2008, down 17 percent from 2007. Exports of other cattle, mainly bulls and cows, totaled 1,000 head in 2008.