Exports dropped 3 percent from a month earlier to CHF 18.21 billion in July, dragged by decreases in sales of chemical and pharmaceutical products (-4.2 percent), machinery and electronics (-2.8 percent), watchmaking (-4.4 percent), metals (-0.8 percent), and jewelry and bijouterie (-10.4 percent). By contrast, exports of precision instruments increased by 1.1 percent.
Among major trade partners, exports to the EU declined 8.5 percent, mainly to France (-20.2 percent), the Netherlands (-18.6 percent), Austria (-20.6 percent) and Italy (-3.7 percent); while those to Germany, the UK and Spain increased 0.8 percent, 2.5 percent and 1.6 percent respectively. In addition, sales dropped to the US (-0.1 percent), Singapore (-0.7 percent) and South Korea (-7.1 percent) but increased to China (4.2 percent), Japan (19.2 percent), Hong Kong (14.6 percent) and Canada (2.8 percent).
Imports fell at a softer 2.8 percent to CHF 17.05 billion in July, as purchases dropped for chemical and pharmaceutical products (-11.6 percent), metals (-1.7 percent), and textiles, clothing, footwear (-4.7 percent). Meanwhile, imports increased for machinery and electronics (1.0 percent), vehicles (1.9 percent), and jewelry and bijouterie (2.5 percent).
Among major trade partners, imports from the EU went down 4 percent, namely from Germany (-4.5 percent), Italy (-1.7 percent), the UK (-5.3 percent) and Spain (-2.9 percent); while those from France and the Netherlands rose 8.3 percent and 5.1 percent respectively. Also, imports declined from the US (-8.8 percent) and Hong Kong (-14.9 percent), while those from China and Japan went up 0.5 percent and 30.9 percent respectively.
Considering January to July, the trade surplus narrowed sharply to CHF 9.01 billion from CHF 15.24 billion in the same period of 2017.