WASHINGTON—The U.S. rubber product trade deficit dropped 10.5 percent in May as trade activity dropped sharply from May 2015.
The shortfall for the month totaled $1.01 billion, compared with $1.12 billion a year earlier, according to data from the Department of Commerce. Exports during May decreased 9.7 percent to $793.6 million, while imports plunged 10.1 percent to just under $1.8 billion.
Through the first five months of 2016, the deficit fell 3.6 percent to $4.87 billion. Exports dropped 8.7 percent to $3.84 billion, and imports declined 6 percent to $8.71 billion.
Among individual rubber product categories, the tires and related products trade shortfall dipped 11.9 percent to $751.7 million. Exports were down 9.3 percent and imports were off 11 percent. Year to date, the tire trade deficit fell 3.6 percent to $3.64 billion.
The deficit for miscellaneous hard rubber goods declined 4.9 percent in May and 4 percent year to date; the shortfall for hose and tubing nearly doubled in May and rose 23.8 percent through the first five months of 2016; and the belting deficit dropped 39 percent on the month and 26.9 percent year to date.
On the supply side, the surplus for May more than doubled to $148.3 million and grew 30.4 percent year to date to $647.8 million.