WASHINGTON—The rubber product trade deficit actually dropped by 23 percent in April, as trade activity on the month declined.
The shortfall on the month was $962.5 million, compared with a deficit of $1.25 billion in April 2015, according to data from the U.S. Commerce Department. Exports fell 7.7 percent in April to $779.8 million, while imports plunged 16.9 percent to $1.74 billion.
For the year, that left the rubber product trade deficit down 1.7 percent at $3.87 billion, with exports off 8.5 percent and imports down 4.8 percent.
The trade figures for the tires and related products sector basically mirrored the overall results for April, with the deficit for the month down 25.7 percent to $729.1 million. Imports fell 20.4 percent to $1.12 billion while exports dipped 8.1 percent to $391.1 million.
Through the first four months of 2016, the trade shortfall for tires decreased 1.1 percent to $2.88 billion.
In other end product categories for April, the belting deficit dropped 28.5 percent to $12.8 million; the miscellaneous hard rubber goods shortfall was off 19.6 percent to $100.7 million; and the hose and tubing deficit rose 29.4 percent to $29.3 million.
On the supply side, the trade surplus climbed 20.5 percent to $119.8 million for April and was up 16.7 percent year to date to $499.5 million.