The nation’s exports of electric bicycles surpassed those of traditional bikes in the first five months of this year, with the export value of the former hitting a new high for the period, the Ministry of Finance has said.
Electric bike exports totaled US$550 million in the January-to-May period, up 44.2 percent from a year earlier, compared with US$530 million generated by traditional bicycle producers, up 38 percent annually, data compiled by the ministry showed.
Rising tensions between the US and China prompted foreign buyers of electric bikes to shift their orders to Taiwan, while growing awareness of environmental issues also boosted shipments, the ministry said.
Electric bicycles emerged as a new growth driver in the nation’s vehicle and component exports in the first five months, when the export value hit US$5.32 billion, up 41.2 percent from a year earlier, it said.
The slower growth in traditional bikes reflected a fall in international demand as the global economy was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and there was an increase in bike-sharing worldwide, the ministry added.
The US was the largest buyer of Taiwanese electric bicycles, accounting for 39.3 percent of total outbound sales in the first five months, while Europe was the top foreign buyer of traditional bikes, making up 67 percent of the total.
Data on vehicle and part exports from Taiwan cover passenger vehicles and components as well as bicycles and bicycle parts, according to the ministry.
In the five-month period, bike component exports totaled US$1.74 billion, up 65.2 percent from a year earlier, with Europe the largest buyer, accounting for 53.6 percent of total sales, ahead of the US (14 percent) and ASEAN (12 percent), the ministry said.
Bicycle components accounted for a greater share of vehicle and component sales during the period, making up 32.8 percent of total sales, compared with 30.7 percent last year, it said.
Passenger car exports totaled US$400 million in the first five months, up 47.7 percent from a year earlier, the ministry said, citing the effects of reopening economies around the world.
The Middle East was the largest buyer of passenger cars, with purchases accounting for 43.3 percent of the total in the five-month period, but the growth moderated from more than 80 percent in the past few years, a reflection of the region’s weaker economy, the ministry said.
The US was the second-largest buyer of Taiwan’s passenger cars during the period, making up 17.2 percent on the back of strong demand for all-terrain vehicles, ahead of Europe (14.8 percent), and China and Hong Kong (14.4 percent), it said.
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