PARIS — Swiss watch exports, which declined 4.4 percent in November, were negatively impacted by factors including sales to Hong Kong and Mainland China, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch industry.
Foreign sales of Swiss watches totaled 2.06 billion Swiss francs, or $2.14 billion, according to the federation.
Dollar figures are converted at average exchange for the period to which they refer.
After two positive months, Hong Kong registered a 13.5 sales drop. Meanwhile, exports to Mainland China fell 27.6 percent.
“Following over a year of destocking, there have been no signs of improvement in Swiss watch exports, in particular into Greater China,” Citi analyst Thomas Chauvet said in a research note.
He added: “The November data is a clear negative for the Swiss watch industry in the run-up to Christmas and Chinese New Year and reflects an unfavorable calendar (fewer working days year-on-year), disruption in Hong Kong (the impact of October protests) — the Swiss watch industry’s largest market in value (an estimated 20 percent of total exports) — and deterioration in other markets, as evidences by weak recent data points from key industry players.”
Swiss watch exports to the U.S. posted solid growth, of 17.1 percent, while Europe had a mixed performance. Italy was down 3 percent and Germany dropped 14.6 percent.
Each of the main materials fell in value. Sales for the category of steel declined 3.4 percent, and revenues from gold-steel watches decreased 8.1 percent. Timepieces made of other metals were down 17.5 percent in value terms.
Similarly, all price segments of watches retreated. Timepieces costing less than 3,000 Swiss francs, or $3,112, dipped 7.3 percent, while those at more than 3,000 Swiss francs were down 2 percent.