WASHINGTON—The U.S. rubber product trade deficit rose 1.6 percent in November, following the trend for all of 2013.
The shortfall for the month stood at $898.9 million, compared to $884.5 million in November 2012, according to data from the Department of Commerce. Exports gained 2.3 percent for the month to $882.4 million while imports increased 1.9 percent to $1.78 billion.
For the first 11 months of 2013, the deficit was up 1.7 percent to $10.5 billion, with rubber product imports for the period of $20.3 billion more than doubling exports of $9.84 billion.
Data was similar for the tires and related products sector, the biggest market covered in the report. The trade shortfall for November inched up 1.5 percent to $663.6 million. Exports dropped 1.6 percent, and imports nudged up 0.2 percent. The passenger tire deficit climbed 2 percent for the month, while the truck/bus sector's shortfall rose 6.5 percent.
For the year, the tire category gained 1.9 percent, with passenger tires up 7.8 percent and truck/bus up 1.4 percent.
The supply side sector for November showed a trade surplus of $63.8 million, compared to a deficit of $17.6 million for the year-earlier period. That reflects a 6.5-percent decline in the deficit for natural rubber and a 24.8-percent rise in the surplus for synthetic rubber.
On the year, the supply side surplus rose more than 10-fold to $568.6 million.