Exports were almost unchanged at CHF 19.56 billion in May, as a slightly decline in sales of chemical and pharmaceutical products (-0.4 percent); machinery and electronics (-0.1 percent), watchmaking (-0.2 percent), precision instruments (-2.8 percent), metals (-0.7 percent) was offset by increases in exports of jewelry and bijouterie (1.7 percent).
Among major trade partners, exports rose 2.8 percent to the EU mainly to Italy (12.6 percent), Germany (0.8 percent), and France (7.3 percent); Japan (5 percent); Singapore (30.7 percent); Canada (9.4 percent), but dropped to China (-5.8 percent); Australia (-13.6 percent), and Hong Kong (-3.9 percent).
Imports rose 3.1 percent to CHF 17.30 billion in May, driven by higher purchases of chemical and pharmaceutical products (14.5 percent); vehicles (9.7 percent), and jewelry and bijouterie (1.6 percent). In contrast, imports went down for machinery and electronics (-1 percent); metals (-2 percent), and textiles, clothing, footwear (-0.7 percent).
Among major trade partners, imports from the EU went up 3.2 percent, namely Germany (1.3 percent), France (11.1 percent), and Netherlands (5 percent). Also, imports from the US increased 14 percent, while those from China and Japan fell 5.3 percent and 2.2 percent respectively.
Considering the first five months of 2018, the trade surplus narrowed sharply to CHF 11.6 billion from CHF 16 billion surplus in the same period of 2017.