The European Union imported 8 percent more complete bicycles in 2007, with an average value about the same as the year before at €80.53, according to figures from Eurostat. The top 10 source countries saw some change.
Thailand, which doesn’t even have duty-free status for bikes shipped to the EU, nearly doubled its exports to 1.5 million bikes, taking over the second position from China. The average value of the country’s bicycles increased by about 50 percent to €74.07. In selling nearly 900,000 bikes in the U.K., Thailand took over a large part of Vietnam’s exports there.
Vietnam, meanwhile, fell out of the top 10 altogether, with 2007 exports totaling fewer than 30,000 bicycles – compared with a peak of 1.85 million in 2004. Neighboring Cambodia sold nearly 370,000 bikes in Europe, down by about 15 percent from 2006.
Tunisia’s exports, though, skyrocketed by 218 percent, putting it at No. 7 in the top 10 exporters to Europe. It was helped by the formation of a joint venture with Italy and China.
Taiwan exported the most, with 3 million units carrying an average value only 1.1 percent higher at €131.33. Combining the unusual stagnation of average value in a country that focuses on higher-end products with a strong increase in volume, the notion that China is shipping bikes through Taiwan is reinforced. China’s exports dropped by 2.3 percent, at an average value 6.4 percent higher at €30.60. This value increase can be attributed to higher costs of raw material.