Wed, Mar 05, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Bike exporters see sunnier outlook on better weather

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

Shu-Te University design student Tsai Yu-lun stands by a prototype “uPon” bicycle tent yesterday at the Taipei World Trade Center, where the Taipei International Cycle Show is being held from today through Saturday.

Photo: Chen Ping-hung, Taipei Times

The nation’s bicycle exports are set to increase this year from last year on the back of improving weather conditions around the world and the economic recovery in Europe, the Taiwan Bicycle Exporters’ Association said yesterday.

“Weather conditions in the US and Europe last year were abnormally severe, and we expect such conditions will change this year, prompting people to participate more in outdoor activities,” association chairman Anthony Lo (羅祥安) said.

Last year, Taiwan’s bicycle and bike parts exports totaled US$2.46 billion, down 3.39 percent from 2012, Lo said.

Overseas shipments of bicycles dropped 11.41 percent to 3.83 million units last year from 4.32 million units a year ago, while their average selling price rose 7.91 percent to US$450.5 per unit over the same period, he added.

Taiwan’s bicycle shipments to Europe also declined last year because of strong competition from Cambodia, as exports from the Southeast Asian country enjoy zero-tariff treatment in the EU’s markets, while Taiwanese exports are subject to a 14.5 percent import tax, he added.

According to the association, shipments to the Netherlands reduced 33.94 percent to 364,000 units last year from 551,000 units a year ago, while shipments to Germany dropped 25.81 percent to 296,000 units from 399,000 units in 2012, and those to the UK were down 6.04 percent to 560,000 units last year from 596,000 units a year ago.

Local bike shipments to the US also fell, dropping 6.87 percent to 637,000 units last year from 684,000 units a year earlier.

Bucking the downward trend were the number of Taiwanese cycles exported to China, which grew to 250,000 from 90,000 in 2012, according to the association’s data.

Lo said that the average selling price of bicycles shipped across the Taiwan Strait this year would likely stay at the US$300 per unit recorded last year, but that shipment volume would increase.

Meanwhile, Taiwan Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association president Catherine Wang (王淑華) said fitness equipment products would continue to lead the nation’s sporting goods exports this year.

Exports of fitness equipment accounted for 40.9 percent of Taiwan’s total sporting goods exports last year, followed by golf equipment at 21.9 percent and outdoor equipment at 16.4 percent, Wang said.

The US was Taiwan’s largest destination of sporting goods exports last year, consuming about 37 percent of total overseas shipments, with China in second place with about 10 percent, she added.

Taiwan exported US$1.67 billion worth of sporting goods last year, a rise of 3.72 percent from 2012.

Lo and Wang made their remarks at a press conference for the four-day Taipei International Cycle Show and Taipei International Sporting Goods Show, which open today.

The events are being held at the Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Halls 1 and 3, with the cycle show also at the Nangang Exhibition Hall. Entry is NT$200.

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