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Swiss Watch Exports -4% in Dec. as Hong Kong Continues to Falter

Jan 26, 2016 8:32 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Swiss watch exports declined 3.8 percent year on year to $1.71 billion (CHF 1.74 billion) in December as shipments to Hong Kong, the nation’s largest trade partner for the industry, continued to fall.

Wristwatch exports decreased 3.1 percent to $1.63 billion compared with a year ago, while shipments of other timepieces slumped 17 percent to $82.4 million, according to figures provided by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry January 26.

Exports to Hong Kong slumped 21 percent to $244 million, mirroring disappointing sales in the location among jewelry and watch retailers. Exports to the U.S. fell 5.5 percent to $158.9 million. However, there were increased shipments to the U.K. (+26 percent), the United Arab Emirates (+9.6 percent), Singapore (+8.6 percent) and China (+5.5 percent).

The Federation pointed out that the December dip was less marked than the 6 percent decline in November, when Hong Kong exports nosedived 28 percent year on year.

Exports of precious-metal watches suffered the heaviest decline in December, down 4.8 percent to $631.7 million. Shipments of steel watches and timepieces from other metals also fell, but less significantly. Watches made from gold and steel increased slightly.

By volume, the decline in Swiss wrist-watch exports was gentler, dipping 1.2 percent to 2.4 million timepieces. Precious-metal watch exports slumped 21 percent by volume to 38.4 million units.

By price point, exports of luxury Swiss watches worth $2,956 (CHF 3,000) or more declined 3.7 percent by value. The steepest drop was in watches valued at $197 (CHF 200) to $497 (CHF 500), which fell 14 percent in value terms. There were slight improvements in the lowest and mid-range categories.

For 2015 as a whole, total Swiss watch exports fell 3.3 percent to $21.18 billion.
Tags: exports, Rapaport News, Swiss watches, Switzerland, watches
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