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Swiss Watch Export Slump Slows in July

Shipments down 17% for the month, compared with 35% drop in June.
Aug 24, 2020 8:03 AM   By Rapaport News
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The decline in Swiss watch exports eased slightly in July, as orders to the US stabilized and China continued its recovery.

Total shipments fell 17% year on year to CHF 1.58 billion ($1.74 billion), the fifth consecutive monthly decline. The decrease was gentler than June’s 35% drop, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry reported last week.

“China posted [its] second consecutive month of very strong growth, illustrating the early recovery in this market, and the gradual resumption of domestic, rather than foreign, sales,” the organization said.

Exports to China jumped 59% to CHF 242 million ($266.1 million) for the month, while those to the US were flat at CHF 190.6 million ($209.6 million). The improvement in the US market came after three months of “extremely poor performance.” Last month, orders from the country declined 57% to $93.2 million.

The situation in Hong Kong, traditionally one of the largest export markets for Swiss watches, showed no real signs of recovery in July, the federation noted. Shipments to the municipality fell 43% to CHF 147.8 million ($162.6 million), as tourism to the territory remained at a near standstill.

Exports of higher-priced timepieces saw a lesser decline than those at lower price points in July. Watches costing more than CHF 3,000 ($3,297) dipped 11%, while those under CHF 200 ($220) slid 36% during the month.

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