The October trade gap fell 5.4 percent to $40.6 billion from September's $43 billion, Commerce reported. Record petroleum-product exports of $12.5 billion helped push the deficit down.
It's the latest evidence of a U.S. surge in exports of gasoline and other refined petroleum products. Meanwhile, U.S. crude oil imports rose slightly in October, but overall they've been falling sharply in recent years amid the domestic production boom and the flat demand for gasoline.
The Commerce Department data is another snapshot of seismic shifts in the U.S. oil-and-gas landscape.
The federal Energy Information Administration reported recently that U.S. crude oil production surpassed imports in October for the first time in roughly two decades.