Home » Swiss watches, sharp slowdown in exports in March. China and Hong Kong over -40%

Swiss watches, sharp slowdown in exports in March. China and Hong Kong over -40%

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Swiss watches, sharp slowdown in exports in March.  China and Hong Kong over -40%

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After a long phase characterized by the prevalence of increases, exports of Swiss watches are now recording declines. In March, exports of Swiss timepieces amounted to 2 billion francs (2.06 billion euros at the current exchange rate), 16.1% less than a year earlier. The decline therefore worsened, after a February in which the drop was 3.8%. For the entire first quarter of this year, Swiss exports amounted to 6 billion francs (6.18 billion euros), a decrease of 6.3% compared to the same period last year.

In March all the major markets recorded negative signs, by far the greatest declines were those of China and Hong Kong. These are the figures for the ten main markets: United States 340 million francs (-6%), Japan 150 million (-3%), China 150 million (-41%), Hong Kong 148 million (-44%), Singapore 133 million (-14%), United Kingdom 128 million (-13%), Germany 105 million (-13%), United Arab Emirates 96 million (-3%), France 93 million (-11%), Italy 74 million ( -10%).

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As regards product types, during the month the high range – with a price above 3 thousand francs – limited the damage with a 9% drop in value. The biggest drop was in the medium-high range, with prices between 500 and 3 thousand francs, which recorded a -38%. The medium range, with prices between 200 and 500 francs, recorded a decline of 18%. The basic range, priced under 200 francs, saw a drop of 19%.

Broadening our gaze to the first quarter of 2024, the contraction in Swiss exports takes on more moderate contours, with the negative sign affecting only part of the outlet markets. This is the picture of the ten largest markets for the January-March period: United States 1 billion francs (+0.2%), China 538 million (-22%), Hong Kong 481 million (-25%), Japan 429 million (+2%), Singapore 404 million (-1%), United Kingdom 369 million (-4%), United Arab Emirates 316 million (+3%), Germany 302 million (-10%), France 290 million (+ 0.6%), Italy 213 million (-8%).

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The Swiss watch industry represents over 50% of the sector’s global turnover and exports over 90% of its production. The export data provided by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (Fh) are therefore an important thermometer, which many operators in the sector look to, not only in the Confederation.

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