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U.S. rubber trade deficit jumps 12.4%

WASHINGTON (Nov. 2, 2015) — The U.S. rubber product trade deficit jumped 12.4 percent in May to $1.12 billion, as the shortfall kept rising during 2015.

Imports of rubber goods for the month rose 3.4 percent to a little more than $2 billion, according to data from the U.S. Commerce Department, while exports dropped 6.2 percent to $878.9 million,

Through the first five months of the year, the deficit gained 3.6 percent to $5.05 billion, with exports off 3.8 percent and imports up marginally.

In individual categories, the tires and related products deficit climbed 11.4 percent to $853.5 billion in May. Exports lost 9.5 percent, while imports gained 3.1 percent. For the year, the sector’s trade shortfall is up just 0.1 percent to $3.77 billion.

Elsewhere, the belting deficit declined 2.7 percent for the month to $17.1 billion and dropped 3.6 percent year to date; the miscellaneous hard goods shortfall jumped 29.5 percent to $98 million in May and 17.7 percent thus far in 2015; the hose and tubing trade shortfall plummeted 47.8 percent to $16.4 million for the month and fell 14 percent for the first five months of the year.

On the supply side, the rubber-related surplus dropped 41.1 percent for May to $68.6 million, with exports declining 9.9 percent to $495.8 million and imports falling 7.4 percent to $427.1 million.

Year to date, the supplier side surplus increased 49.6 percent to $496.8 million.

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