Bicycle Imports Hit All Time Record

The June 2013 data is just in to complete the picture for the 2012/13 financial year. As expected from the trend of previous months, 2012/13 has set a new record of 1,416,413 bicycles imported into Australia.

This is up by almost quarter of a million units on last financial year, where the total was 1,166,712. It also broke by over 80,000 bicycles the previous financial year record, set in the pre GFC year of 2007/08, of 1,334,442 units.

June itself was in line with previous years, with 87,090 bicycles imported.

But within that total, Children’s bikes were well down to just 19,451, with adult bikes making up the balance. June’s figures reflect a significant longer term trend.

Over the past three years, adult bicycle imports have increased by 21% and at the same time children's imports have decreased by over 7%.

From a dealer point of view, this could be looked at as good news, in that adult bikes will on average have a higher unit price than children’s bikes.

But in the long term it’s a worrying trend, as a whole new generation is less likely to grow up riding bikes. This is also reflected in studies that have measured the long term decline in the percentage of school children who ride to school, instead being driven there by their parents.

There is also some discussion within the bicycle trade, that the record number of bicycle imports for 2012/13 could partly be due to earlier season launches for 2014 models, which is simply bringing forward bikes that would otherwise have appeared in the 2013/14 figures. Although this is difficult to prove conclusively, we’ll have to wait and see if imports decline over the next few months which would bear out this theory.

Australian Customs collect bicycle import figures which are then collated by Bicycle Industries Australia (BIA). Full data including comparison tables and charts are made available to BIA members only. BIA have kindly permitted us to publish summary figures and commentary when each new month’s data is released.