WASHINGTON—The rubber product trade deficit for the first quarter of 2016 rose 8.3 percent despite dropping 4.1 percent in March.
The trade shortfall through the first three months of the year stood at $2.9 billion, with imports remaining steady at $5.17 billion and exports dropping 8.7 percent to about $2.27 billion, according to data from the U.S. Commerce Dept.
The deficit for March was $1.03 billion on lighter trade, with exports off 12.9 percent to $792 million, and imports down 8.1 percent to $1.82 billion.
Among individual categories, the deficit for tires and related products rose 6.8 percent in March to $809.2 million but jumped 11.4 percent for the first quarter to $2.15 billion.
For hose and tubing products, the shortfall dropped 17.6 percent in March to $30.1 million but increased 7.7 percent for the first quarter to $89.1 million. The deficit in the belting sector dropped 49.1 percent in March to $10.7 million and 22 percent on the quarter to $36.7 million.
The miscellaneous hard rubber goods deficit plunged 31.9 percent in March to $91.4 million but was up 3.8 percent for the first three months of 2016 to $272.6 million.
On the supply side, the surplus for March rose 51.2 percent on the month to $132.1 million and gained 15.5 percent on the quarter to $379.7 million.