According to the Swiss Watch Industry Federation (FH), the Swiss watch industry continued to show a strong rebound in July, with its exports rising by 6.6% year-on-year to 1.8 billion Swiss francs. If you expand your time to the first seven months of 2018, you can see that the export value of Swiss watches has increased by 10% to 12.3 billion Swiss francs.
During the economic downturn in recent years, Swiss watch exports have continued to decline for 20 consecutive months from July 2015 to February 2017. It was not until last year that the situation began to improve. So far, its exports have maintained a 15-month growth.
However, the growth in July was unbalanced, and this momentum was mainly from the Far East market. According to FH data, Rui Surface's exports to the Far East market increased by 19.6%. In other regions, the performance was relatively weak. For example, the European market fell by 2.6%, while the Middle East and the Americas only rose by 1.1%.
According to FH stakeholders, “Hong Kong alone accounts for 37% of global growth.” Hong Kong is one of the most important markets for Swiss watches, where exports have soared 27%.
Japan (+17%), Singapore (+9%), South Korea (+42%), Taiwan (+20%) and Thailand (+35%) also rose sharply. As for mainland China, the data shows that the amount of exports in July has not changed much, but the overall increase is still 10% since the beginning of 2018.
In terms of watch classification, high-end watches and low-end watches have the biggest gains, and mid-range watches have the worst performance. The number of low-end watches (exports below CHF 200) increased by 12% year-on-year, and total exports increased by 11% year-on-year. The number of exports of high-end watches (exports exceeding 3,000 Swiss francs) rose by 9.8% year-on-year, and total exports rose by 8.1% year-on-year. The export volume of mid-range watches (200 to 500 Swiss francs) fell by 0.9% year-on-year, and total exports fell by 3% year-on-year.
Overall, the export of Swiss watches is increasingly dependent on the Far East market, and the performance of low-end and high-end watches is the best.
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