August 2022: Swiss Foreign Trade with a slight plus

Bern, 20.09.2022 – After the drawback in July 2022 the Swiss Foreign Trade increased in both trade directions. The exports increased by 1.4 % and Imports by 1.5 %. The trade balance shows a surplus of CHF 2.3 billion.

Total Development

After the drawback in July the Exports increased in August – seasonally corrected – by 1.4 % or in real terms by 2.1 %. Thus four of the past five months registered a slightly uptrend since the start of the year.

Imports had a plus of 1.5 % – in real terms by 1.3 % – the development was in the past months rather stagnating. The balance of trade shows a surplus of CHF 2.3 billion, exactly the same sum as in July 20222.

Exports to the USA increase by CHF 521 million

More than half of the goods groups showed a growth in exports in August 2022. The major contribution stemmed from chemical-pharmaceutical products (+CHF 469 million). Sales of immunologic products increased by 17.4 % (+ CHF 600 million), whereas raw and ground materials increased by a fourth. After a marked drawback in July machinery and electronic supplies increased by 2.8 % and confirmed positive trend since the beginning of the year. On the other hand resulted a slight decrease (-2.2 %) for the watch sector, the first since April 2022.

Swiss exports increased on all three important markets. Sales for North America increased by 4.0 % (USA: + CHF 521 million; chemicals and pharma). After three negative months supplies to Europa increased by 2.8 %, amongst Germany, Slovenia and Austria generated a plus of CHF 437 million. Exports to Spain showed a backdraw of 41.3 % or CHF 294 million. Sales to Asia slightly increased (+ 1.3 %).

Imports of vehicles have reached the highest level since November 2020.

Around half of the goods groups showed an increase. At the top of the development were vehicles (+ CHF 259 million) and machinery and electronics (+CHF 183 million). The first group increased for the fourth time, thus representing the highest level since November 2020. The imports of machinery and electronics have written a new record value.  By contrast the imports of the largest goods group, chemicals and pharmaceutical products (-CHF 191 million). The demand for medicine sank by CHF 630 million. Also negative were the imports of jeweller goods (-CHF 99 million). The imports of sources of energy dropped nominally by 1.7 %, however in real terms these increase by 2.8 %.

From the three most important sourcing countries, only Asia showed a higher value of goods (+2.4 %). Regarding countries only the imports from Singapore, South Korea and Japan increased by totally CHF 229 million. The imports from Europe dropped by 0.7 %, with a marked minus from Slowenia, Austria, Spain – foremost chemical and pharmaceutical products – on the other hand supplemental increases from France and Italy of totally CHF 287 million. The imports from North America were 8.6 % less (USA: – 6.1 %; pharmaceuticals).

Translation Virginia F. Bodmer-Altura