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<b>Baltic States 2009: </b>Drops in Both Export and Import

Sales & Trends

The Baltic countries Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania are among the youngest members of EU, but they are playing an important role in the European bicycle market, especially Lithuania, with one of the biggest factories in Europe.

The Baltic countries Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania are among the youngest members of EU, but they are playing an important role in the European bicycle market, especially Lithuania, with one of the biggest factories in Europe.

All three countries separated from Soviet Union in early 90’s and joined the European Union in 2004. They are also part of the Schengen Agreement , but not yet a part of Euro zone. Estonia is expected to adopt the Euro in 2011, but that is not yet confirmed. All three countries are mainly flat with many lakes and rivers.

Estonia

Smallest of the three Baltic countries with a population of 1.3 million, Estonia imports most of its bikes from Taiwan (10,897 units in 2009) and Cambodia (8,158 units) while Lithuania is also a big partner with 2,145 imported units according to Eurostat. According to this data the yearly capacity of the market is about 30-40 thousand bikes, with an average sales price around € 200. Export numbers for Estonia are low and just like imports it has fallen drastically over the past three years.

Latvia

Latvia with 2.23 million people has the lowest GDP of the three and displays similar drops in exports and imports as Estonia. Latvia also imported over 10 thousand bikes from Taiwan, but Lithuania is their second strongest partner with import partners split, roughly half between EU and Asia. Average price has increased almost 25% in the last year. Exports are small, less than a thousand bikes were sent to both Russia and Lithuania, while other exports are marginal. Total consumption of the market is estimated at 30,000 units.

Lithuania

Largest of three Baltic neighbours, it’s also the most interesting, playing a major role in the European bike market. The Lithuanian bike factory Baltik Vairas is a partnership between German Panther International GmbH and the fifty year old company Vairas. With production of over half a million units it is one of the biggest facilities in the EU. Most of the bikes are exported to Germany, while other important partners are the Netherlands, Scandinavian and Baltic countries.

According to Eurostat exports have dropped from 387,000 units to 236,677 units from 2007 to 2009, but those figures remain uncertain. As for the bike export value; the average per unit increased from € 98.50 to € 120.70 from 2007 to 2009.

As well as domestic production Lithuania also imports a significant number of bicycles from Indonesia (8,260 units in 2009), Taiwan (7,128 units), Hong Kong (4,480 units) and Romania (4,373 units). Just one year ago, imports were much higher – almost double. Using Eurostat and production numbers we estimate that consumption in the market is about 80-100 thousand units.

 

 

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