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Big Rise in Bike Imports from Asia

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More and more bicycles that are to be sold on the European markets are made in Asia. Despite last years poor market conditions and sales in various countries declining, the import of complete bicycles from Asia rose with a big

Big Rise in Bike Imports from Asia

BRUSSELS, Belgium – More and more bicycles that are to be sold on the European markets are made in Asia. Despite last year’s poor market conditions and sales in various countries declining, the import of complete bicycles from Asia rose with a big 9% in 2010.

Close to nine million bicycles (8,835,722 to be precise) were imported from the Top Ten EU Bike Supplying countries in 2010 (see table). This number is up 8.89% compared to the total of 8,114.063 of 2009.

Top Ten EU Bike Suppliers in Units 2007 – 2010

Country
2010
2009
2008
2007
+/-2010
 – 2009
Taiwan
3,358,674
2,853,808
3,343,560
3,098,782
+ 17.7%
Thailand
1,218,472
1,354,234
1,476,416
1,482,182
– 10.0%
Sri Lanka
1,201,138
972,886
701,111
564,324
+ 23.5%
Indonesia
550,432
436,418
626,167
591,584
+ 26.1%
Bangladesh
503,582
419,973
371,753
355,591
+ 19.9%
Philippines
503,109
448,481
414,497
645,766
+ 12.2%
China
461,082
481,607
735,593
783,011
– 4.3%
Tunisia
411,980
528,737
523,475
547,123
+ 22.1%
Cambodia
368.040
438,161
478,048
430,531
– 16.0%
Malaysia
259,213
179,758
337,948
469,641
+ 44.2%

Source: Eurostat

What is remarkable when having a close look at the bike import statistics of Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics office, is that the import from Taiwan rose heavily. With 17.7% to a big 3.4 million units (2009: 2.9 million). With this Taiwan managed to increase its leading position as Europe’s biggest bike supplier even further. In 2010 the bike manufacturers of the island had a joint market share of 38.0% of the total bike import from the top ten leading bike supplying countries.

Thailand still holds the number 2 position in the ranking of the Top Ten EU Bike Suppliers. However, the total number of bicycles from this country dropped with a double-digit; 10.0% to somewhat more than 1.22 million units. Thailand’s number two position in the ranking is heavily contended by Sri Lanka. Import from this country rose by a big 23.5% last year to 1,201,138 units.

Whether Sri Lanka will manage to keep its position in the ranking of biggest bike supplying nations to the EU is doubtful. In particular as it lost its duty free export status last year. The European Commission decided to drop this status as Sri Lanka breached agreements within the General System of Preferences (GSP) on human rights. The decision made that from August 15, 2010 bicycles imported from Sri Lanka are subjected to the regular 14% import tax. Bike parts imported from Sri Lanka (mainly tyres) are from that date on subjected to the regular 4.7% import tax.

In the ranking of biggest bike supplying countries is Indonesia now on place 4 as its bike export to the European Union grew 26.1% to 550,000 units in 2010. Tunisia was on place 4 but export from this country dropped heavily with 22.1% last year. The number 5 position in the ranking is for Bangladesh (came from 9th position!) as its export upped 19.9% to somewhat over a half million bicycles.

For the coming years the import of complete bicycles from countries like Bangladesh, Cambodia and Vietnam is expected to grow rapidly because of the big relaxation of the rules of the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) which became effective January 1, 2011.

 

 

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