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Swiss watch exports: first half of 2016

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Swiss watch exports reported a downturn in the first six months of 2016 based on data released by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.

The result was influenced by the important Hong Kong market which failed to recover.

The overpriced Swiss Franc, insecurity linked to terrorism and changes reported in tourist flows also penalised demand for Swiss watches.

Watch industry exports were worth 9.5 billion francs in the first six months of the year against more than 10 billion in the same period of the four previous years.

This is a decline of 10.6% compared to January-June 2015. The forecast for the second half of 2016 shows a slight improvement of the situation although the year-on-year result will likely report a downturn comparable to the figure recorded at present.

Over half the reduction in value is attributable to products in precious metals which lost 16% in the first half. Steel watches were less affected with -6.4%.

In terms of volumes, most price segments reported a double digit decline with the biggest reduction (15%) in the 200 to 500 Swiss Francs price range.

During the first half of 2016, the fifteen main markets showed the following trend (total value in million francs and % variation by comparison with the same period of 2015):

1
Hong Kong1,189.5-26.7%
2
USA1,051.0-9.3%
3
Japan631.9+2.9%
4
China 590.8-14.7%
5
Italy588.5-12.6%
6
Germany558.3-4.9%
7
United Kingdom529.9-5.4%
8
UAE492.7+2.7%
9
France490.8-14.8%
10
Singapore485.6-12.8%
11
South Korea313.8-8.9%
12
Spain218.7-6.1%
13
Saudi Arabia186.3-4.6%
14
Taiwan181.6-18.0%
15
Austria141.1-2.0%

As shown in the table, Japan was one of the few markets showing growth (+2.9%) together with United Arab Emirates which reported a +2.7% rise.

All these figures refer to exports data and not to sales to end-consumers. Differences between these two types of data may therefore exist. These data must be regarded as consolidated figures gathering export results from all Swiss watch companies and, of course, they cannot reflect the individual results of one particular company or group of companies.

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