WASHINGTON—The rubber product trade deficit actually started out lower in 2015, as the shortfall dropped 9 percent in January.
The deficit for the year's first month was $939.6 million, with exports up 0.3 percent to $789.7 million and imports down 4.9 percent to $1.73 billion, according to Department of Commerce data.
That falling deficit was led by the tires and related products group, where the shortfall for January fell 11.3 percent to $692.9 million. Exports climbed 2.6 percent to $405.4 million, while imports dropped 6.7 percent to $1.1 billion.
In other rubber product categories:
c The deficit for rubber hose and tubing inched up 2 percent to $29.3 million, with exports off 1.9 percent and imports down 0.9 percent;
c The belting trade shortfall increased 8.2 percent to $13 million as exports rose 6.2 percent and imports gained 6.8 percent;
c Miscellaneous rubber products showed a 10.8 percent decline in its trade shortfall, with exports basically stable and imports down 3.3 percent; and
c The deficit for rubber- and plastic-coated garments went down 0.4 percent to $133.1 million, with exports off 3.7 percent and imports down 0.8 percent.
On the supply side, the surplus for January more than doubled to $76.9 million. Exports dropped 6.5 percent to $483.4 million and imports fell 16.9 percent to $406.5 million.