China's bicycle exports surge as cycling becomes top choice for short trips
China's bicycle exports have seen strong gains as COVID-19 precautions have prompted people worldwide to turn to cycling and using electric bicycles for short journeys.
From January to September, China exported 41.66 million bikes, an increase of 3.9 percent year-on-year, with the volume expanding 12 percent over the same period last year to $2.43 billion, according to data from the China Bicycle Association.
The bicycle industry saw orders plummet and production slacken in the first half of this year due to the epidemic, but has recovered lost ground since June with the bike outputs of some firms tripling from pre-epidemic levels.
The association expects the bicycle industry to see its combined revenues surpass 360 billion yuan ($54.78 billion) in 2020, up 10 percent year-on-year, and maintain robust growth momentum in overseas markets such as Europe, the United States and Southeast Asia.
According to Erhard Buchel, president of the Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry, European imports of bikes, electric bikes and parts from China amounted to 1 billion euros ($1.19 billion) in 2016, increased to 1.5 billion euros in 2019, and are expected to near 2 billion euros in 2020.
The bicycle industry should seize the new opportunities of surging bike imports in the European Union and the new market demand trend in countries along the Belt and Road, said Zhang Chonghe, head of the China National Light Industry Council.