Switzerland’s Top 10 Imports

Switzerland's Top 10 Imports

Grand Casino Lucerne

Switzerland imported US$279.2 billion worth of goods from around the globe in 2018. That dollar amount reflects a 1.5% since 2014 and a 4.4% improvement from 2017 to 2018.

Swiss imports represent 1.6% of total global imports which totaled an estimated $17.788 trillion for 2017 (calculated as of January 2019).

From a continental perspective, 63.1% of Switzerland’s total imports by value in 2018 were purchased from fellow European countries. Asian trade partners supplied 20.7% of imports bought by Switzerland while 8.8% worth originated from North America. Smaller percentages came from Africa (3.8%) and Latin America (3.1%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean.

Given Switzerland’s population of 8.3 million people, its total $279.2 billion in 2018 imported goods translates to roughly $33,700 in yearly product demand from every person in the European country.

Switzerland’s Top 10 Imports

Top 10

The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Switzerland’s import purchases during 2018. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Switzerland.

  1. Gems, precious metals: US$86.6 billion (31% of total imports)
  2. Pharmaceuticals: $30 billion (10.7%)
  3. Machinery including computers: $20.1 billion (7.2%)
  4. Vehicles: $15.5 billion (5.6%)
  5. Electrical machinery, equipment: $14.9 billion (5.3%)
  6. Organic chemicals: $12.9 billion (4.6%)
  7. Mineral fuels including oil: $9.7 billion (3.5%)
  8. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $8.3 billion (3%)
  9. Plastics, plastic articles: $7 billion (2.5%)
  10. Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefab buildings: $4.6 billion (1.7%)

Switzerland’s top 10 imports accounted for three-quarters (75%) of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.

Mineral fuels including oil achieved the fastest-growing increase in value among the top 10 import categories, up 17.9% year over year. Trailing that were organic chemicals (up 17.2%), plastics including items made from plastic (up 8.3%) then optical, technical and medical apparatus (up 7.9%).

The sole decliner was the gems and precious metals category thanks to its -2.6% setback.

Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level. Information presented under other virtual folder tabs is at the more granular 4-digit level.

Precious

In 2018, Swiss importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of gems and precious metals.

  1. Gold (unwrought): US$63.3 billion (down -9.3% from 2017)
  2. Jewelry: $16.2 billion (up 45.1%)
  3. Diamonds (unmounted/unset): $2.5 billion (up 0.6%)
  4. Platinum (unwrought): $1.3 billion (up 22.9%)
  5. Precious metal waste, scrap: $1.2 billion (down -43.9%)
  6. Precious/semi-precious stones (unstrung): $962.4 million (down -2.7%)
  7. Coins: $504 million (up 19172.1%)
  8. Silver (unwrought): $297.7 million (down -12.1%)
  9. Imitation jewelry: $127.8 million (down -18.4%)
  10. Natural pearl/precious stone items: $112.7 million (up 1.6%)

Among these import subcategories, Switzerland’s purchases of coins (up 19,172%), jewelry (up 45.1%) and platinum (up 22.9%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported gems and precious metals among Swiss businesses and consumers.

Pharma

In 2018, Swiss importers spent the most on the following subcategories of pharmaceuticals.

  1. Medication mixes in dosage: US$19.4 billion (up 0.6% from 2017)
  2. Blood fractions (including antisera): $10 billion (up 13%)
  3. Medication mixes not in dosage: $233.7 million (up 8.7%)
  4. Sutures, special pharmaceutical goods: $215.3 million (up 2.9%)
  5. Packaged dressings: $112 million (down -3.8%)
  6. Dried organs, heparin: $61.6 million (down -13.2%)

Among these import subcategories, Swiss purchases of blood fractions including antisera (up 13%), medication mixes in dosage (up 8.7%) and sutures plus special pharmaceutical goods (up 2.9%) grew in value from 2017 to 2018.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported pharmaceuticals among Swiss businesses and consumers.

Machinery

In 2018, Swiss importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machinery including computers.

  1. Computers, optical readers: US$3.4 billion (up 11.4% from 2017)
  2. Taps, valves, similar appliances: $1 billion (up 3.5%)
  3. Turbo-jets: $1 billion (down -16.4%)
  4. Miscellaneous machinery: $1 billion (up 3.6%)
  5. Printing machinery: $935.1 million (up 4.2%)
  6. Centrifuges, filters and purifiers: $719.6 million (up 8.3%)
  7. Other machine parts, accessories: $684.7 million (up 13.6%)
  8. Refrigerators, freezers: $616.2 million (up 12.1%)
  9. Air or vacuum pumps: $612.5 million (up 14.8%)
  10. Dishwashing, clean/dry/fill machines: $586.1 million (down -5.1%)

Among these import subcategories, Switzerland’s purchases of air or vacuum pumps (up 14.8%), miscellaneous machine parts or accessories (up 13.6%) and refrigerators or freezers (up 12.1%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported machinery among Swiss businesses and consumers.

Vehicles

In 2018, Swiss importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of vehicles.

  1. Cars: US$10.5 billion (up 0.7% from 2017)
  2. Trucks: $1.4 billion (up 8.7%)
  3. Automobile parts/accessories: $1.2 billion (up 9%)
  4. Motorcycles: $534.8 million (up 14.9%)
  5. Tractors: $394.1 million (down -0.3%)
  6. Trailers: $360.1 million (up 4.2%)
  7. Motorcycle parts/accessories: $251.1 million (up 12.2%)
  8. Special purpose vehicles: $243.9 million (up 13.7%)
  9. Public-transport vehicles: $222.1 million (up 15%)
  10. Bicycles, other non-motorized cycles: $166 million (down -3.2%)

Among these import subcategories, Switzerland’s purchases of public-transport vehicles (up 15%), motorcycles (up 14.9%) and special purpose vehicles (up 13.7%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported vehicles among Swiss businesses and consumers.



 

See also Switzerland’s Top Trading Partners, Switzerland’s Top 10 Exports and Switzerland’s Top 10 Major Export Companies

Research Sources:
The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed February 4, 2019

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on February 4, 2019