Bicycle Imports Up 9% So Far For 2013

Following a near record 2012, as you can read more about in our February issue of Bicycling Trade, bicycle imports are off to a strong start in 2013. 

A total of 187,667 bicycles were imported for the first quarter of 2013. This compares to 171,783 bikes for the same period in 2012, an increase of 9%. 

The increase has not been uniform across the three months, with January and February both up strongly on last year but March down from 59,392 to 44,767 units. 

Continuing the trend from 2012, the growth is coming in adult bicycles which were up from 112,764 units for the first quarter of last year to 131,617 units this year, a 16.7% increase.

Meanwhile, children’s bikes fell slightly from 59,019 to 56,050 units. 

With three months remaining until the 2012/13 financial year is complete it looks likely that the previous financial year record, set in 2007/08 of 1,334,442 will be exceeded. After nine months of the current financial year, the cumulative total is already 1,125,639 units. Even though the final quarter, leading into winter, is always relatively quiet, if 2013 matches the actual figures of last year, then the old financial year record will be broken.

Australian Customs also collects the value of the bikes at their landed cost, before taxes, wholesale and retail margins are added. 

These show that the average value of bicycles imported fell from $175.37 in 2011 to $160.01 in 2012. These figures look very low at first glance, but the data includes all mass merchant bicycles, which account for over half of the bicycles imported, by volume. 

The drop may be partly explained by the strengthening Australian dollar over this period, rather than a change in quality or product mix. 

Despite the value per unit dropping, because so many more bicycles were imported in 2012, the total value increased from $190,031,681 in 2011 to $217,228,477 in 2012. Adding taxes, wholesale and retail margins would result in a retail figure for complete bicycle sales in 2012 of somewhere around $500,000,000. 

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.