Aug. rubber product trade deficit drops 10.6% WASHINGTON—The rubber product trade deficit did something last August that it doesn't do often—it declined.
The trade shortfall dipped 10.6 percent to $881.5 million for the month, as exports grew and imports dropped, according to data from the U.S. Commerce Department. Exports rose 9.1 percent to $961.9 million in August, while imports fell 1.3 percent to $1.84 billion.
Through the first eight months of 2012, however, the rubber product trade deficit of $7.59 billion was still 11.9 percent higher than the same period for 2011. Imports climbed 12.4 percent to $14.8 billion and exports gained nearly 13 percent to $7.21 billion. The smaller shortfall was led by the largest single category, tires and related products. The deficit in that sector for August decreased 13.9 percent to $599.2 million. Exports gained 9.1 percent and imports dropped 4.1 percent for the month. The deficit for passenger tires was down 9.9 percent in August and the truck and bus tire shortfall fell 37.9 percent. Year to date, the tire trade deficit was still up 13.5 percent, at $5.76 billion. The passenger tire deficit was up 14.2 percent, but the truck and bus tire shortfall was down 5.9 percent. On the supply side, the trade balance for August was almost even, with the surplus at just $5.6 million. That compared to a $112.1 million deficit a year earlier.