Minerals and Metals

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Key Economic Events

  • The U.S. merchandise trade deficit in minerals and metals declined in 2007 largely due to expanding world economies, higher commodity prices, and the devaluation of the U.S. dollar. This was the first decrease in the U.S. trade deficit in this sector following years of increases.
  • More than one-third of the total increase in U.S. exports of minerals and metals was accounted for by precious metals and non-numismatic coins. Exports of these items rose because of high demand from expanding foreign economies coupled with the depreciation of the U.S. dollar.
  • A majority of the decline in the U.S. trade deficit of minerals and metals in 2007 was due to fewer U.S. imports of steel mill products, copper and related articles, and unrefined and refined gold. Growth of major world economies in combination with a slowing U.S. economy and the depreciation of the U.S. dollar contributed to this decrease.
  • More than half of the increase in U.S. imports of minerals and metals was accounted for by steel mill products, copper and related articles, and precious metals.

Trade Shifts in 2007 from 2006

  • U.S. trade deficit: Decreased by $12.6 billion (15 percent) to $73.9 billion
  • U.S. exports: Increased by $17.3 billion (21 percent) to $100.3 billion
  • U.S. imports: Increased by $4.7 billion (3 percent) to $174.2 billion