Exports fell 2.3 percent from a month earlier to CHF 19 billion in April, dragged down by sales of chemical and pharmaceutical products (-4.5 percent); machinery and electronics (-0.9 percent); watchmaking (-4.8 percent); precision instruments (-2.9 percent); jewellery (-3.3 percent), and food, beverages and tobacco (-1.1 percent) while shipments of metals went up (2.0 percent).
Among major trade partners, exports declined to Germany (-2.1 percent); the US (-0.6 percent); France (-4.8 percent); Italy (-7.8 percent); Japan (-21.1 percent); Spain (-1.7 percent) and the Netherlands (-4.8 percent). On the other hand there were increases in exports to China (3.4 percent), Singapore (30.6 percent), South Korea (3.5 percent) and Austria (40.1 percent).
Imports rose 0.8 percent to CHF 17.1 billion, mainly due to higher purchases of machinery and electronics (0.6 percent); jewellery (44.2 percent); metals (1.4 percent); textiles, clothing, footwear (3.3 percent) and food, beverages and tobacco (1.6 percent). On the other hand, imports declined for both chemical and pharmaceutical products (-3.0 percent) and vehicles (-6.5 percent).
Among major trade partners, imports went up from Germany (8.4 percent); Italy (2.2 percent); China (1.1 percent), Spain (31 percent) and Japan (1.4 percent); while imports fell from France (-3.4 percent) and the US (-1.3 percent).
Considering the first four months of the year, the trade surplus widened to CHF 7.7 billion from CHF 5.6 billion in the same period of 2018.