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China Slowdown Hits Swiss Watch Exports

May 31, 2022 8:38 AM   By Rapaport News
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 Swiss watch exports saw a more moderate rise in April as China’s coronavirus measures reduced demand in the key market, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.

While global shipments climbed 7% to CHF 1.92 billion ($2 billion) for the month, the increase was weaker than in the first quarter, the organization reported Tuesday.

“The growth in Swiss watch exports lost some of its momentum in April, mainly because of the slowdown in the Chinese market,” the organization said Tuesday. “China saw a sharp decline in April, in response to the combination of a very negative base effect and the consequences of the country’s zero-Covid-19 policy. Hong Kong also contributed to the contraction seen in Asia.”

Exports to Asia as a whole decreased 6% year on year. Orders from China plunged 58%, while supply to Hong Kong dropped 21% to CHF 148.8 million ($154.8 million). That outweighed a 37% jump in exports to the US for a total of CHF 322.6 million ($335.8 million). A recovery in exports to the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain — the sector’s five main European markets — also supported the total.

Global exports climbed 12% in March, with the combined figure for the year to date passing the CHF 2 billion ($2.1 million) mark earlier in the year than ever before.

In April, exports of watches priced above CHF 3,000 ($3,124) saw the largest improvement, jumping 12%, while units valued at CHF 500 ($521) to CHF 3,000 were nearly flat, up 0.6%. Timepieces valued between CHF 200 ($208) and CHF 500 plummeted 28%. Those under CHF 200 fell 10%.

Image: A Swiss watch display. (Shutterstock)
Tags: COVID-19, Federation of the Swiss ‎Watch Industry, Rapaport News, Swiss watch exports, Swiss watches
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