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Swiss Watch Exports Slide as U.S. Records Worst Monthly Drop in 5 Years

Oct 21, 2015 6:10 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Swiss watch exports slumped in September as the U.S. market recorded its worst monthly downturn in five years, casting a doubt over the industry’s outlook for the year. At the same time, Asia bore the brunt of the month's decline as Hong Kong showed no sign of improvement.

Outbound shipments fell to $1.7 billion (CHF1.8 billion), a 7.9 percent slide from a year ago and the third monthly drop this year after May and July, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said in a statement dated October 20. Exports to the U.S. tumbled 17.6 percent, with Hong Kong and China nosediving 18.2 percent and 13 percent, respectively.

The slump affected all price segments. It was more keenly felt below the CHF500 export price, particularly between CHF200 and CHF500, where a 14.5 percent drop by value was registered. Watches costing more than CHF500 slipped 7 percent both in value and volume terms.

“The poor results continued to focus mainly on Asia,” the Swiss Federation statement said. Hong Kong showed “no sign of improvement” and while China was “less negative than in July and August,” its situation continued to deteriorate, it added.

Swiss exports to Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, South Korea and Taiwan also recorded steep declines as steel and precious metal watches set the downward trend, outweighing the positive impact of bi-metallic watches.

Cross-border shipments to Europe, however, held firm by recording a tenth-consecutive month of growth. Most of the region’s markets, including Germany and Italy, contributed to this outperformance.
Tags: bimetallic, CHF, gold, Rapaport News, steel, Swiss watch exports, timepieces
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