Taiwan Bicycle Association (TBA) reports that a drastic increase of sales to the United States and its neighboring countries, as well as in Japan fueled a 13.9 percent increase in the country's bike exports during the first four months of 2015 compared with the same time period in 2014.

TBA reported close to 1.48 million bicycles were exported from January to April and that it sees no signs sales are slowing. During this same four-month period, the total  value of  assembled bike  exports  rose by  10 percent  to  $599 million. However, the average value per bike dropped to $406.15, a decrease of slightly over 3 percent.

In terms of exports growth, Japan has seen the largest growth in 2015, in contrast with the same period in 2014. Exports to the country grew by 25.7 percent, reaching 100,000 units from January to April 2015. This is an increase of the total value by 25.6 percent, equivalent to $40 million.

Comparatively, exports to the European Union (EU) totaled 883,000 units during the same period, jumping 25 percent from 2014. North America is the second largest destination for bike exports with a 15 percent increase, totaling 257,000 units. This was an increase of 24.3 percent in value, equivalent to $1.73 million.

By region, the EU was the largest recipient of bike exports from Taiwan in 2014. In 2014, exports to the EU hit over 2  million units, accounting for 55.4 percent of total exports of assembled bikes. The  second largest market was NAFTA (US, Canada and Mexico), accounting for 18.7 percent of total exports (700,000 units).

However, it is not yet known if Taiwan will break last year’s numbers in the remaining months of 2015. Taiwan exported 3.75 million assembled bicycles in 2014, a decrease of 2 percent from 2013.

The decrease in exports volume showed the impact of the economic downturn, particularly in Europe and Australia, with consumers more reluctant to purchase new bikes. Assembly has also moved to other tariff-free areas, such as Southeast Asia or  within the European Union, in order to avoid tariffs on assembled bikes exported from Taiwan.

Nevertheless, Taiwan exported nearly 58,000 LEVs (Light Electric Vehicles) to the EU last year, a growth of 87 percent over 2013, and 54,000 units to NAFTA, increasing 36.8 percent.

Exports to China decreased by 46 percent, from 250,316 units to 136,845 last year. Though in value, exports to China reached $78 million, falling only 8.4 percent. Per unit price rose 67.5 percent to $569.27. This is indication that the demand for Taiwanese bicycles in the Chinese market has changed to high-end bicycles.

Exports of assembled bicycles to several major countries continued to grow substantially in volume. Exports to New Zealand reached 53,474 units, increasing 66 percent compared to last year. This is one of the results of the Agreement between New Zealand and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu on Economic Cooperation (ANZTEC), which eliminated all tariffs on bicycle exports from Taiwan to New Zealand. Exports to Thailand also grew 44 percent to reach 56,209 units, while exports to Sweden and Spain both increased over 10 percent, reaching 180,000 and 71,000 units respectively.

Taiwan exported 530,000 units of assembled bicycles to Asian countries, accounting for 14 percent of the total exports in volume. Exports volume to Japan rose 6.4 percent, totaling 240,000 units, but exports value decreased 0.5 percent, reaching $95.27 million. The devaluation of the yen had a major impact.
The total exports value of assembled bicycles in 2014 totaled $1.721 billion, a slight decrease from $1.725 billion (0.19 percent) a year earlier. However, the average unit price rose from $450.64 to $458.99, a 1.85 percent increase, showing the effort by Taiwan’s bicycle industry to advance.

Table 1: Taiwanese Bicycle Industry
Exports (2013 and 2014)


Year

2013

2014

Growth Rate

Total Bicycle Exports by Volume (million/units)

3.83

3.75

-2.00 percent

Total     LEV     Exports               by Volume (thousand/units)

37

66

77.98 percent

Total Bicycle Exports by Value (USD billion)

$1.725

$1.721

-0.19 percent

Average unit
price (USD)

$450.64

$458.99

1.85 percent

Main Parts Export Value (USD 100 million)

9.15

10.35

13.04 percent

Combined Total Value of
Bicycle and Parts Exports (USD 100 million)

 

$26.64

 

$27.56

 

4.44 percent



 

Table
2    Top 10 Exports Markets for Assembled
Bicycles (by Volume) in 2014

 

Market

Volume (Thousand units)

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