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AFP
Published
Mar 25, 2009
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Swiss watch exports tumble 22.4 percent in February

By
AFP
Published
Mar 25, 2009

GENEVA, March 19, 2009 (AFP) - Swiss watch exports tumbled 22.4 percent in February compared to a year ago, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said Thursday, with exports to the United States plunging by almost half.


Frank Muller's 'Aeternitas version IV' AFP/Getty Images

The value of watch exports in February was 1.03 billion francs (669 million euros, 904 million dollars), with major markets in Hong Kong, France, Japan and Germany all posting falls in demand.

Exports to the US fell 47.5 percent to 102.5 million francs, while those to Hong Kong -- the largest market for Swiss watches -- slipped 4.4 percent to 191 million francs.

China, the seventh largest importer of Swiss watches, also posted a sharp decline of 28.5 percent, as did the United Arab Emirates, with a fall of 38.0 percent.

Watches priced between 500 and 3,000 francs were the hardest hit, as demand plunged by close to half.

Exports priced above 3,000 francs showed a fall of 6.6 percent, those priced between 200 and 500 francs dropped a third, while exports priced at below 200 francs declined by about a quarter.

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