Crain News Service report
WASHINGTON (March 24, 2015) — The U.S. rubber product trade deficit averaged more than $1 billion a month for the first three quarters of 2014, with imports more than doubling exports.
The trade shortfall for the period totaled $9.2 billion, a 5.9 percent increase from a year earlier, according to data collected by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Exports gained 2.5 percent to $8.18 billion, while imports climbed 4.3 percent to $17.4 billion.
For tires and related products, the deficit through three quarters of last year climbed 4.4 percent to $6.83 billion. Exports dropped 1.4 percent while imports rose 2 percent to $11.2 billion.
The shortfall for passenger tires inched up just 0.1 percent to $4.1 billion, while the deficit for truck and bus tires grew 6.1 percent to $1.39 billion.
Among other rubber product categories, the belting deficit jumped 14.1 percent to $144.5 million. Exports were stagnant but imports increased 3.9 percent. The deficit for miscellaneous hard rubber goods rose 1.2 percent to $732.1 million. Exports grew 10.2 percent and imports 7.7 percent.
On the supply side, the surplus for the first nine months of last year rose 39.9 percent to $585.6 million, with exports up 1.2 percent and imports down 5 percent.
This report appeared on the website of Rubber & Plastics News, an Akron-based sister publication of Tire Business.