Exports declined 2.1 percent from a month earlier to CHF 17.83 billion in September, dragged by decreases in sales of watchmaking (-5.2 percent), precision instruments (-2.6 percent); metals (-3.7 percent); chemical and pharmaceutical products (-1.2 percent), and machinery and electronics (-0.2 percent). By contrast, there was an increases in exports of jewelry and bijouterie (4.2 percent).
Among major trade partners, exports to the EU decreased 1 percent, mainly to Germany (-2.1 percent), France (-2.8 percent), the Netherlands (-22 percent), and Spain (-4 percent) while those to Italy and Austria went up 1.3 percent and 18.9 percent, respectively. In addition, sales dropped to China (-12.4 percent), India (-3.6 percent), and the US (-1.4 percent). By contrast, exports increased to Japan (21.6 percent); Singapore (1.1 percent), and Turkey (54.9 percent).
Imports fell at a faster 2.8 percent to CHF 16.38 billion in September, as purchases decreased for vehicles (-9.2 percent), jewelry and bijouterie (-29.6 percent), metals (-1.3 percent), and textiles, clothing, footwear (-0.2 percent). Meanwhile, imports increased for chemical and pharmaceutical products (3.2 percent), and machinery and electronics (0.1 percent).
Among major trade partners, imports from the EU went down 1.4 percent, namely from Germany (-1.7 percent), Italy (-5.2 percent), France (-9.7 percent), and the Netherlands (-10.3 percent) while those from Belgium and Ireland rose 10.5 percent and 9.3 percent, respectively. Also, imports declined from China (-2.3 percent), Japan (-25.6 percent); the US (-10.6 percent) but rose from the Hong Kong (3.9 percent); Singapore (14.5 percent), and Canada (116.3 percent).
Considering January to September, the trade surplus narrowed sharply to CHF 11.6 billion from CHF 18.5 billion in the same period of 2017.