Swiss trade rose sharply in January 2021. However, one industry dominated and masked falls in other sectors.
After falling in December 2020, seasonally adjusted Swiss exports rose 5.4% to CHF 18.9 billion in January 2021, according to recently published figures. In addition, imports were up 3.3% to CHF 15.3 billion.
90% of the rise in exports was due to a rise in pharmaceutical exports, which rose by 9.7%. Exports were also up in the machine and electronics (+3.1%) and metals (3.3%) sectors with declines in the watch (-0.3%), jewellery (-6.8%), textiles (-5.3%) and vehicles (-6.4%) sectors.
The pharmaceutical sector accounted for the lion’s share (75%) of the rise imports, which were up 9.1%. Imports were also up in the machine and electronics (+2.5%) and metals (1.7%) sectors. Imports in the vehicle (-4.9%), textile (-5.9%) and watch (-12%) sectors all saw declines.
In January 2021, 51% of exports were to the EU, 24% to Asia, 19% to North America and 6% to the rest of the world. On the import side, 66% came from the EU, 21% from Asia, 6% from North America and 7% from the rest of the world.
The net trade balance for January 2021 was CHF 3.6 billion, up 15.5% from 3,1 billion in December 2020.