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Hong Kong Slowdown Hits Swiss Watches

Jul 21, 2019 8:37 AM   By Rapaport News
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Swiss watch exports fell 11% to CHF 1.74 billion ($1.77 billion) in June, amid a continued downturn in Hong Kong tourism and protests in the municipality.

“Hong Kong’s performance slowed significantly. Recent events there undoubtedly played a part,” the Federation of the Swiss Watch industry reported last week.  Demonstrators in Hong Kong — the Swiss watch industry’s second-largest market — have been protesting an extradition bill proposed by the government in March.

Exports to Hong Kong plunged 27% to CHF 198.4 million ($202.1 million), in contrast to 39% growth in June 2018. That decline outweighed a 7% increase in supply to the US to CHF 202.9 million ($206.7 million), and a 3% rise to Japan to CHF 135.1 million ($137.6 million). Shipments to China grew 2% to CHF 126.2 million ($128.5 million).

There was a decline in all major price categories, with orders of watches worth above CHF 3,000 ($3,056) falling 6% by value. Exports of timepieces between CHF 500 ($509) to CHF 3,000 slipped 20%, while those valued from CHF 200 ($204) to CHF 500 went down 15%. Supply of products priced under CHF 200 plummeted 20%.

Similarly, exports slowed for each category based on the materials used to make the watch. Exports of steel watches dropped 15% to CHF 644.1 million ($656.1 million), and shipments of timepieces made from precious metal slid 6% to CHF 584.1 million ($595 million). Supply of gold-and-steel watches fell 7% to CHF 282.2 million ($287.4 million), while those made from other metals tumbled 17% to CHF 75.6 million ($77 million).

Image: Swiss watches in a store window. (Shutterstock)
Tags: Federation of the Swiss ‎Watch Industry, Rapaport News, Swiss watches
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