Exports declined 3 percent from a month earlier to CHF 18.6 billion in December, dragged by decreases in sales of chemical and pharmaceutical products (-4.8 percent); machinery and electronics (-0.8 percent); watchmaking (-2.2 percent); metals (-2.3 percent) and food, beverages and tobacco (-1.5 percent). By contrast, there were increases in exports of jewellery (18.9 percent) while those of precision instruments were unchanged.
Among major trade partners, exports dropped to China (-18.8 percent), South Korea (-8,7 percent), India (-7,3 percent), Vietnam (-20.7 percent), and Canada (-1.7 percent). Meanwhile, there were gains in exports to the US (4.5 percent), and Japan (1.2 percent). On the other hand, exports to the Euro Area edged up 0.2 percent, in particular to France (6.1 percent) and Italy (1.6 percent) while those to Germany (-0.3 percent) fell.
Imports went up 3.9 percent to CHF 16.8 billion in December, as purchases rose for chemical and pharmaceutical products (12.9 percent); machinery and electronics (0.3 percent); vehicles (8.8 percent) and jewellery (17.1 percent). By contrast, imports went down for metals (-1.1 percent) and textiles, clothing, footwear (-4.9 percent).
Among major trade partners, imports from the Euro Area rose 3.7 percent, namely from Germany (1.4 percent), France (6 percent), Italy (3.7 percent), the Netherlands (2.7 percent), and Spain (4.1 percent). Also, imports increased from Japan (29.5 percent), Singapore (14.7 percent), and South Korea (6.6 percent) while those from China (-1.5 percent) and the US (-8.4 percent) declined.
For full year 2018, the trade surplus declined to CHF 31.32 billion from CHF 34.81 billion in the last year.