E-bike imports soar to meet growing demand in Europe
To meet demand for e-bikes on Europe’s markets, the increase of e-bike imports is outperforming investments in local production. In 2021 the total import hiked by almost 30% from 884,862 units in 2020 to 1,144,597 e-bikes last year. Major changes in Europe’s top-10 bicycle supplying countries were also noted in 2021, with China strengthening its position.
The 2021 import statistics make it all the clearer that demand for e-bikes in Europe is outpacing the local production increases. Despite major investments in assembly facilities like at KTM in Austria, Cannondale in the Netherlands or Maxcom in Bulgaria, to name a few, supply from Asia remains relevant for the market.
China regains market position
According to the latest official statistics, the biggest growth in export volume to Europe came from China, which proves that the country is able again to gain a more than healthy market share. Initially the e-bike export from China to Europe dropped to almost zero following the introduction of the anti-dumping duties.
Major changes in Europe’s top-10 bicycle supplying countries
China’s position as bicycle supplier for the European Union is rising rapidly. Last year the import of bicycles from China increased by more than 23% to almost 960,000 units, and this isn't only remarkable shift in the 2021 EU bicycle imports statistics.
Despite the supply chain issues, the total volume of the Asian exporting countries increased sharply in 2021. Besides Cambodia, all top-10 bicycle exporting countries report a sales increase ranging from a few percent to more than 70%.
One billion euros
In total, the EU import volume hiked by 12.4% from 4,787,069 units in 2020 to 5,380,276 last year. Also the import value showed a strong plus of 9%. For the first time, the total value exceeded the €1 billion mark. This total value was only tempered by a small decline in the average import price of 3% from €193 in 2020 to €187 in 2021. Note that all numbers mentioned are excluding imports into the United Kingdom.
The growing importance of the People’s Republic of China as a bicycle supplier contradicts with the EU Commissions strategy when they announced maintaining the anti-dumping duties for another five years in 2019. The EU Commission imposed the anti-dumping duty not only on China, but also on other leading bicycle exporting countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Cambodia, Pakistan and the Philippines. Four out of these seven countries are still important exporters to European markets with Cambodia still ranking number one. However, the country lost a substantial export volume last year and if the trend continues, China will become the number one bicycle supplier for the European Union again in 2022.