Exports rose 0.4 percent to CHF 18.79 billion in June, driven by increases in sales of chemical and pharmaceutical products (1.3 percent), precision instruments (1.4 percent), metals (1.6 percent), and jewelry and bijouterie (6 percent). By contrast, exports of machinery and electronics declined 0.6 percent while those of watchmaking were unchanged.
Among major trade partners, exports rose 0.7 percent to the EU, mainly to Germany (2.1 percent); the Netherlands (17.5 percent), the UK (0.5 percent), and Austria (14.7 percent); while those to France and Italy dropped 6.4 percent and 2.6 percent respectively. In addition, sales grew to China (5.4 percent), the US (3.7 percent) and Canada (9.1 percent); but fell to Japan (-11.7 percent), Hong Kong (-5.6 percent) and Singapore (-18.2 percent).
Imports edged up 0.1 percent to CHF 17.49 billion in June. An increase in purchases of machinery and electronics (1.5 percent), vehicles (2.9 percent), jewelry and bijouterie (0.6 percent) and metals (1.8 percent); offset a decline in imports of chemical and pharmaceutical products (-0.3 percent), textiles, clothing, footwear (-1.8 percent), and food, beverages and tobacco (-3.8 percent).
Among major trade partners, imports from the EU went up 1 percent, namely from Germany (2.7 percent), Italy (2.6 percent), the UK (12.7 percent) and Austria (10.5 percent); while those from France and the Netherlands declined 3.7 percent and 9.3 percent respectively. Also, imports rose from the US (6.4 percent) and the UAE (18.5 percent), while those from China fell 1.2 percent.
In the second quarter of the year, the trade surplus widened to CHF 4.6 billion from CHF 3.6 billion in the previous three-month period. Exports advanced 1.4 percent to a quarterly record of CHF 55.7 billion, with sales to Germany, the US and China hitting all-time highs; while imports fell 0.4 percent to CHF 51.1 billion.
Considering the first half of the year, the trade surplus narrowed sharply to CHF 8.2 billion from CHF 12.7 billion surplus in the same period of 2017.