TAICHUNG, Taiwan (BRAIN)—Taiwan’s bike industry has started the year strong, with total bicycle export numbers up nearly 18 percent through the first quarter to 1.54 million units.
Total value was up 22 percent compared with first-quarter 2007, to U.S. $348.5 million. But the U.S. dollar’s devaluation is chomping away at profits.
Despite the weak dollar, however, U.S. demand for Taiwanese-built bikes remains strong. Taiwan’s Bureau of Foreign Trade reported exports were up by more than 34 percent through March, to 161,000 units compared with 2007’s 120,000.
The U.S.-bound bikes’ total value was $60.8 million, with an average of $378. And, although the exports represented 10 percent of Taiwan’s total exports, they yielded more than 17 percent of the total value.
The E.U. 27 as a group took in more than 1 million units, valued at $188.3 million, with an average sale price of $174.
The UK remains Taiwan’s biggest customer in terms of units—226,000 bikes valued at $32 million and an average value of $143. Taiwan manufacturers shipped 184,000 units worth $40 million and an average of $218 to Germany, Europe’s biggest bike market.