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中国消费者钟表需求撑起瑞士出口业

2011-12-1 16:58| 发布者: 悠儿| 查看: 908| 评论: 0

摘要: Asia's appetite for Switzerland's luxury goods, and in particular its high-precision watches, continues to keep the wolf from the door of the country's export sector, but the question is for how long. ...
Asia's appetite for Switzerland's luxury goods, and in particular its high-precision watches, continues to keep the wolf from the door of the country's export sector, but the question is for how long.

Swiss exporters have long chaffed against the Swiss franc's spectacular appreciation versus the euro in the past two years, claiming it renders them uncompetitive in their key European markets, and the latest Swiss export data largely back their claims.

Last week Swiss machine and metal industry lobby group, Swissmem, said the high-flying franc has pushed more than a third of its members into the red, and almost three quarters say the Swiss National Bank's 1.20 Swiss franc-per-euro cap won't provide any sustainable improvement in their situation.

The Swiss customs office today said the sale of Swiss goods in Europe stagnated so far this year, while in Asia they climbed more than 10% as Switzerland ran up a CHF19.3 billion trade surplus with Asia, compared to an CHF18.2 billion deficit with its European neighbors.

Watches provide the main driver for exports to Asia, climbing 22% this year to reach CHF13.45 billion, with demand from Chinese consumers surging a remarkable 68%.

To top this, the president of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry Jean-Daniel Pasche said there are no signs yet of the trend flagging.

Others however are less convinced of the sustainability of such demand, and many Swiss manufacturers will be tempted to raise prices for their timepieces as they struggle to meet incoming orders.

'Last November we saw a 29% increase in Asian demand for Swiss watch, with orders from Hong Kong jumping 70%,' said Vontobel analyst Rene Weber.

Other Swiss exporters are less fortunate, and many companies, particularly pharmaceutical ones, are now having to trim their prices to keep a foothold in foreign markets.

Prices for Swiss goods slipped more than 7% in the 10 months through October, and this trend is likely to accelerate in coming months, further squeezing Swiss corporate profit margins.

'Export volumes have held up reasonably well in October, but the decline in export prices is a worrying trend, and one which can't continue over the longer term,' said Alessandro Bee, an economist at Bank Sarasin.

In addition, the level of Asian export growth is bound to 'normalize' in coming months as economies in the region slow, albeit it not at the same pace as the rest of the industrialized world.

Mr. Weber expects overall Swiss export growth in Asia to reach around 16% this year, but then there should be some 'normalization of demand' and he predicts expansion will ease to around 8% in 2012.

'We just can't carry on like this,' he said.

Neil MacLucas
亚洲对瑞士奢侈品(尤其是瑞士高精度钟表)的需求仍然能让瑞士出口业维持生计,但问题是这种情况能持续多久。

瑞士出口商一直以来对过去两年瑞士法郎兑欧元大幅升值颇有微词,称这令他们在重要的欧洲市场失去竞争力,最新公布的瑞士出口数据大体上支持这种说法。

上周瑞士机床和金属行业游说团体Swissmem说,瑞士法郎币值飞涨已经令该团体超过三分之一的会员企业入不敷出,近四分之三的企业说瑞士央行(Swiss National Bank)设定的1欧元兑1.20瑞士法郎的汇率下限无法给他们的处境带来任何可持续的改善。

瑞士海关办公室11月22日说,今年迄今,瑞士商品在欧洲的销售停滞不前,但在亚洲的增幅则超过了10%。瑞士对亚洲国家的贸易顺差达到193亿瑞士法郎,而对欧洲邻国的贸易逆差则达到182亿瑞士法郎。

钟表成为推动瑞士对亚洲出口的主要动力。今年以来钟表出口额上升22%,达到134.5亿瑞士法郎,其中中国消费者的需求激增了68%。

除此之外,瑞士钟表业联合会(Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry)主席帕施(Jean-Daniel Pasche)说,到目前为止没有迹象表明这股趋势无法延续。

但另一些钟表厂商不太相信这种需求可以延续。许多瑞士钟表企业在难以满足新订单的时候可能希望提高其钟表的价格。

私人银行Vontobel的分析师韦伯(Rene Weber)说,去年11月,我们看到亚洲对瑞士钟表的需求上升了29%,其中来自香港的订单上升了70%。

瑞士其它行业的出口商就没有这么幸运了,许多企业(特别是制药行业)目前不得不降价以保留在国外市场的立足之地。

今年头十个月瑞士商品价格跌幅超过7%,未来几个月这股趋势可能还将加快。这将进一步挤压瑞士企业的利润空间。

瑞士私人银行Bank Sarasin的经济学家亚历山德罗•毕(Alessandro Bee)说,今年10月瑞士的出口数据相当不错,但出口商品价格下跌是一股令人担忧的趋势,在中长期内这股趋势无法延续。

此外,未来几个月,随着亚洲经济体经济增速放缓,对亚洲国家的出口增速势必将回落至“正常”水平,当然这一速度不会降到和其它工业化国家一样的程度。

韦伯预计今年瑞士对亚洲的整体出口增幅将达到约16%,但此后应该会出现“需求正常化”的过程,他预计到2012年这一数字将放缓至8%左右。

韦伯说,我们无法像这样持续下去。

Neil MacLucas

(本文版权归道琼斯公司所有,未经许可不得翻译或转载。)

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