WASHINGTON—The U.S. rubber product trade deficit increased 3.1 percent overall during 2015, with overall trade down for the year in the industry.
The trade shortfall for the year came it at $12.5 billion, compared with $12.2 billion in 2014, according to data compiled by the Commerce Department. Exports declined 6.5 percent on the year to $10.1 billion, while imports declined 1.5 percent to $22.6 billion.
During December, the trade deficit rose 5.2 percent to $1.03 billion, with exports off 4.6 percent and imports down less than 1 percent.
Among individual rubber product categories for 2015:
• Tires and related products saw a 1 percent increase in its trade shortfall, to $9.04 billion, with exports falling 9.5 percent and imports declining 3.1 percent;
• The hose and tubing shortfall dropped 13.8 percent to $317.9 million;
• Belting saw its deficit drop by 17.7 percent to $174.7 million;
• The trade deficit for miscellaneous hard rubber goods rose 16.6 percent to $1.12 billion; and
• The shortfall for rubber- and plastic-coated garments increased 9.2 percent to $1.89 billion.
On the supply side, the trade surplus for the year jumped 34.1 percent to $1.22 billion. Exports for the year were down 9.8 percent to $5.76 billion, with imports decreasing 17 percent to $4.55 billion.