WASHINGTON—The U.S. rubber product trade deficit grew by 2.1 percent for the first three quarters of 2013, as overall imports grew slightly, and exports dipped a bit.
The shortfall through September 2013 stood at $8.68 billion, compared with $850.4 million the prior year, according to data from the U.S. Commerce Department. Exports fell 1.6 percent to $7.99 billion, while imports climbed 0.4 percent to $16.6 billion.
For tires, the trade deficit also increased 2.1 percent, coming in at $6.54 billion. Exports fell 4.1 percent, while imports declined 0.5 percent. The passenger tire shortfall rose 10.2 percent for the three quarters, while the truck/bus deficit declined 1.5 percent.
During September, the overall rubber trade deficit gained 7.7 percent to $914.3 million.
Exports were down 1.6 percent to $888.1 million, and imports were up 3.1 percent to $1.87 billion.
The shortfall for tires increased 6 percent for September to $651.7 million, with the passenger tire deficit spiking 14.6 percent and the truck/bus segment jumping 13.8 percent.
On the supply side, the surplus for the first three quarters rose nearly nine-fold to $418.7 million.
For September, the surplus was $59.4 million, compared with just $1.61 million the prior year.