Exports of bicycles and bicycle parts may reach U$3 billion this year, up 9.89 percent from US$2.73 billion a year ago, Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) executive vice president Walter Yeh (葉明水) said yesterday.
“Although the nation’s total exports declined 2.3 percent because of the global economic slowdown last year, exports of bicycles and bicycle parts still grew 11.67 percent to US$2.73 billion last year from US$2.44 billion the previous year. We expect growth to be stronger this year thanks to brighter economic sentiment,” Yeh said at a press conference to promote the Taipei International Cycle Show, which opens today and runs through Saturday at the Taipei World Trade Center.
Bicycle exports totaled US$1.81 billion last year, up 8.68 percent from US$1.66 billion the previous year, while bicycle parts exports reached US$925 million, up 18.3 percent from US$781.91 million the year before, Yeh said.
The average price of bicycles exported last year was US$417, up 9.88 percent from US$379.5 the previous year, although shipments declined 1.09 percent from the previous year to 4.33 million units, said Anthony Lo (羅祥安), chairman of the Taiwan Bicycle Exporters’ Association (自行車輸出同業公會).
With the implementation of the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), which reduced tariffs on Taiwan’s exports of bicycles and bicycle parts to China starting last year, bicycle shipments to China increased 158 percent to US$45.29 million last year from US$17.55 million the previous year, while those of bicycle parts totaled US$89.85 million last year, up 38.31 percent from US$64.96 million the year before, Lo said.
Although concern over the European debt crisis persists, the increasing emphasis on a healthier lifestyle and environmental protection should help the industry grow at least 5 percent this year, thanks especially to booming markets in Asia, Lo said.
Last year, China accounted for 2.51 percent of the nation’s exports of bicycles and 9.7 percent of its bicycle parts shipments. The market will see double-digit growth this year, he said.