Watch exports "hit the bottom of the wave"

Watch exports "hit the bottom of the wave"

Postby koimaster » May 9th 2017, 10:01am

In March, and for the first time in twenty months, watch sales abroad grew by 7.5% compared to the same month last year. "This confirms our scenario of a stabilization in 2017", assures the Fédération horlogère

After almost two years of apnea, exports watches head out of the water. The March figures published by the Swiss Watch Federation (FHS) on Thursday show the first increase over the last 20 months. At CHF 1.6 billion, this was an increase of 7.5% compared to March 2016. In the first quarter, however, watch shipments abroad were down 6.8% %.

You should be careful. "The month of March 2017 benefited from two additional working days and a very favorable base effect," the umbrella association said in its statement. Adjusted for working days, these same exports decreased by 2.6%, specifies the Federal Customs Administration (AFD).

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"Nevertheless, the figures published yesterday morning are good," notes Jean-Daniel Pasche. For the president of the FHS, "this confirms the scenario that we drew at the beginning of the year, which shows a stabilization in 2017. We can say that we have reached the bottom of the wave".

Trend in steel
In particular, there is a rebound in steel watches (+ 5.4% in volume and + 12.15% in value), a material that enables watch brands to offer parts at more modest prices Without resorting to price cuts. Another important point to note is the marked increase (+ 19.4% in volume, + 49% in value) of watches in the "other materials" category - from ceramics to synthetics. "It's not so surprising, it happens sometimes without particular explanations," sweeps Jean-Daniel Pasche.

If we look at the breakdown by country, Hongkong retains first place among Swiss watch importers with 13.2% market share. The increase (+ 18.1% to 208.8 million francs) ends "25 months of marked declines", notes the FHS.

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The United States remains in second place (10.7% market share) but although the monthly result is described as "good" by the association (+ 15.6% to 169.8 million), " Medium-term orientation is clearly negative. China (+ 37.7% to 129.2 million) continued its upward trend as did the United Kingdom (+ 6.2% to 98.1 million), still helped by the low level of the pound sterling.

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In general, exports increase
Switzerland's exports, adjusted for the number of working days, rose by 2.4% in the first quarter of 2017. Imports, on the other hand, remained flat. The trade balance loops on a record surplus of 10.8 billion francs.

Export growth is based on the chemistry-pharma sector, which would lead to a 2.5% decline, the Federal Administration of Customs said on Thursday. Switzerland's main export sector increased shipments by CHF 2 billion in the first three months of the year. In real terms, total exports stagnated at 54.1 billion francs. Deliveries abroad also increased by 1.5% compared to the last quarter of 2016. Overall, outflows have shown a positive trend since the third quarter of 2015, according to AFD.

Imports fell 4.2% in real terms to 43.3 billion. Compared with the previous quarter, they fell by 1.5%, confirming their downturn in the fall of 2016. (ATS) ... reux-vague


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