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Bulgaria/Romania 2011: Major Suppliers to EU

Sales & Trends

SOFIA, Bulgaria/BUCHAREST, Romania – Both countries joined the EU in 2007 and right away they raised a lot of attention in the cycling industry. Both of them have production capabilities and compared to other EU countries, much lower labor costs.

Bulgaria/Romania 2011: Major Suppliers to EU

Bulgaria and Romania are also much closer to the market than Asian suppliers and there are no hassles with anti-dumping duties. This gives them both a good position for production. Together they exported over one million bicycles in 2011, almost all of them to the EU27.

Bulgaria and Romania are important suppliers to EU markets and the production is even expanding. Both countries might be on the edge of Europe, but due to reasonable labor costs and logistics the two countries are very appealing for many European manufacturers. Bulgaria alone exported over 542,000 bicycles in 2011, most of them to Germany and France.

These are low price point bikes (average value: €108 not included sales margins and taxes), but demand for them is high. In the first six months of 2012 exports already reached 441,000 units and it looks like this will be a record year. At the end of June the export value has already reached €49 million, which can be compared to €59 million for the whole of 2011.

Domestic consumption is unknown, but it is fair to claim that a country with a population of 7.3 million people and one of lower GDP relies on domestic production. Only 39,400 bikes were imported in 2011, almost 30,000 of them from China. The average price of these bikes is very low, retailing for under €100, which only confirms that the bicycle market reflects the economic position of the whole country.

Bulgaria Bicycle Export in 2011

Units Value in euros
1 Germany 158,864 24.07 million
2 France 104,433 7.9 million
3 Greece 65,842 4.4 million
4 Belgium 54,753 4.3 million
5 Austria 27,849 3.9 milion
Total 542,947 59.04 million

Source: Eurostat


Romania has a population of over 19 million and an area more than twice as large as Bulgaria. But GDP per capita is even lower, just under $9,000. However the average price of bikes is approximately twice as high, according to import statistics, which recorded 90,000 imported bicycles in 2011. The main supplier is China with 34,459 units, second is neighboring Hungary with 19,390 units, Germany, Bulgaria and Malaysia follow with significantly lower numbers. But the Bulgarians also rely heavily on domestic production.

The industry is on about the same level as in Bulgaria, in 2011 the export of 506,000 bicycles was registered, most of them went to Belgium and Germany. The average price is also similar as in Bulgaria, just under €100. But Bulgaria is still expanding production in 2012, Romania isn’t. Less than 300,000 units were exported from January till June, so it will be extremely hard to get even close to the numbers of previous years. Germany kept up the demand for Romanian bicycles, but it declined substantially in Belgium.

Romania Bicycle Export in 2011

Units Value in euros
1 Belgium 319,189 32.1 million
2 Germany 145,736 13.4 million
3 Hungary 7,009 0.4 million
4 Italy 6,908 0.45 million
5 Poland 5,435 0.35 million
Totaal 506,082 48.4 million
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