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China, US Drive Recovery in Swiss Watch Exports

Jun 1, 2021 8:40 AM   By Rapaport News
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Swiss watch exports exceeded pre-pandemic levels in April as demand in the US strengthened and China continued to see growth in domestic purchasing.

Global shipments were 2% higher than in the same month of 2019, amounting to CHF 1.79 billion ($1.99 billion), the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said last week. The organization used 2019 rather than last year as a base because of the excessively favorable comparison with April 2020 — the first month to show the effects of the pandemic. Exports rose 446% year on year.

Supply to the US — the largest market for Swiss watches — grew 15% to CHF 235.6 million ($262 million) compared to 2019, while China saw a 75% jump to CHF 230 million ($255.7 million).

“The US showed strong growth,” the federation said. “Worldwide performance was mainly bolstered by China, which continued to combine growth in the home market with domestic sales of goods previously purchased abroad.”

Meanwhile, shipments to Hong Kong fell 25% to CHF 188.9 million ($210 million). In Europe, exports slipped 5%, mainly due to the downward trend in demand in Germany, Italy and France.

Higher-priced goods remained strong, with orders of watches valued over CHF 3,000 ($3,336) increasing 10%. That was the only category to see growth during the period, as exports of timepieces priced between CHF 500 ($556) and CHF 3,000 fell 9% and those costing between CHF 200 ($222) and CHF 500 were down 32%. Supply of watches priced under CHF 200 decreased 20%.

Orders of Swiss watches for the first four months of the year were on a par with the same period in 2019, the federation added.

Image: A display of Swiss watches. (Shutterstock)
Tags: Federation of the Swiss ‎Watch Industry, Rapaport News, swiss watch, Swiss watch exports
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