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Swiss Watch Exports Sluggish in May

Jun 17, 2021 6:13 AM   By Rapaport News
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Swiss watch exports saw a limited recovery in May as the coronavirus continued to affect activity in several major markets.

Global shipments were 12% lower than in the same month of 2019, amounting to CHF 1.8 billion ($1.97 billion), the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said Thursday. Exports rose 174% year on year, but that reflected a comparison with the Covid-19 downturn in May 2020.

“The fall seen a year ago...was...not fully offset, but the sector can nonetheless envisage an earlier return to normal than had been expected at the start of the year,” according to the federation.

Supply to Hong Kong fell 28% versus 2019 to CHF 197 million ($215.5 million), while Japan saw a 26% decrease to CHF 112.1 million ($122.6 million). The “significant declines” reflected the “ongoing difficulty of their local situation as a result of health measures and travel restrictions,” the federation explained.

By contrast, exports to the US, the largest market for Swiss watches, rose 17% to CHF 242.9 million ($266.3 million). China saw a 17% increase to CHF 264 million ($289.4 million), while orders from the UK advanced 8% to CHF 105.7 million ($115.9 million).

Shipments of watches from most price groups declined from 2019 levels, with only those worth over CHF 3,000 ($3,286) remaining stable. Orders of timepieces valued at CHF 500 ($548) to CHF 3,000 dropped 21%, and those costing between CHF 200 ($219) and CHF 500 slid 41%. Supply of watches priced under CHF 200 plunged 44%.

Watch exports decreased 3% for the first five months of the year compared with the same period of 2019, the federation added.

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