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Taiwan bike exports dip in number, but soar in average value

Published October 31, 2018

TAIPEI, Taiwan (BRAIN) — For Taiwan manufacturers, the first nine months of the year is a good news/bad news story.

The average unit price for a conventional bike soared 14.2 percent to $659, with sales topping $1.1 billion.

On the other hand, export numbers — excluding e-bikes — dipped to 1.66 million units, a 6.9 percent drop compared with the same period in 2017.

E-bikes, however, are sparking renewed growth in the industry. Through the first nine months of the year, Taiwan manufacturers reported sales of 195,000 e-bikes — a 47.9 percent increase from the same period in 2017.

Total e-bike sales accounted for $269 million, with average unit value soaring 51.8 percent to approximately $1,379.

Overall, the combined value of regular bicycles as well as e-bikes tops $1.36 billion, a 20.1 percent increase year-over-year

Still, the drop in unit volume for conventional bikes tends to take a toll on some parts makers who supply everything from handlebars to wheel sets, hubs, spokes and other parts.

Nonetheless, exports of Taiwan-made components and accessories enjoyed a 4.1 percent increase in volume, with sales of about $1.1 billion.

Those are among the latest findings from Taiwan's Ministry of Finance, which tracks export statistics through its Customs Administration. The Taiwan Bicycle Association released the data Wednesday, the first day of the Taipei Cycle Show.

E-bikes are rapidly changing the face of Taiwan manufacturing. And e-bikes sales will continue growing as key manufacturers like Giant shift some production back to Taiwan from China.

Other companies are also looking for new manufacturing sites in Vietnam, Cambodia and other Southeast Asian nations as the Trump administration continues to expand its punitive tariffs on Chinese-made e-bikes and other products.

For example, Merida, Taiwan's second-largest manufacturer, recently reported that e-bike volume for its high-end models jumped 63 percent to 93,000 units in the first seven months of the year.

According to the Taipei Times, financial analysts who track Merida, publicly traded on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, predict the company could ship upward of 160,000 units by year's end.

In breaking down exports by region, the Finance Ministry said NAFTA (U.S., Canada and Mexico) and EU member countries accounted for 77.2 percent of all Taiwan exports.

NAFTA members accounted for 27.5 percent of those exports, with the U.S. importing the largest share, 394,000 units (or 23.8 percent) — a 6.6 percent increase over last year.

The EU continues to be Taiwan's largest market, with some 49.7 percent of its production shipped to the EU's 28 member countries. The leading countries include the U.K., Sweden, Germany, Belgium and Poland.


Topics associated with this article: Taipei Cycle Show

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