Swiss Watch Exports Rebound in August Thanks to Strong U.S. Demand

tendata blogTrade Trends News

ten data blog20-09-2023

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According to Bloomberg, Swiss watch exports are up just one month after falling for the first time in more than two years. Enthusiasts and collectors in the U.S. should contribute significantly to this rebound.


According to a report released Tuesday by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, watch shipments from the country rose more than 4 percent to 1.8 billion Swiss francs ($2 billion). Exports grew to five of the industry's six main markets, accounting for 55.4 percent of the total. Leading the way was the United States, where shipments rose 13.5% to 298.7 million francs ($332.5 million).


This increase came a month after a 3.3% drop in exports. Exports to the United States rose during the month, but only by 5.2%, illustrating the importance of the market to the industry (although exports to the United States did fall in April). The strong export performance in August came at a time when brands such as Rolex, Patek Philippe and Omega were raising prices in an attempt to offset rising manufacturing costs.


It's not all good news, however. Exports to the United States may be up, but exports to China, the industry's second-largest market, are down. Exports to that country fell 27% in August, the second significant drop in as many months (July saw a 16.6% drop). Fortunately, this was offset by export growth to the third and fourth largest markets, Hong Kong (exports up 29%) and the UK (21.5%). Shipments to Japan (8.7%) and Singapore (3.5%) also increased. Overall, exports to the sector's six main markets rose by 3.6% to 1 billion francs ($1.1 billion).


Despite a somewhat short-lived July, the Swiss watch industry is currently performing well. The federation expects this year's results to be stronger than in 2022, when the country's watchmakers earned a record 24 billion francs ($26.7 billion).


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