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Australia imports record number of bicycles

Australia imports record number of bicycles
June 3, 2021

Based on historical trends and ABS import data, Australia is set to reach a new record of 1.75 million bicycles imported into the country in a single 12 month period.

The 1.75 million bicycles will enter our ports by 30th June 2021 to be sold in bicycle shops and retailers.

The bicycle industry association’s Peter Bourke predicts the ‘COVID dividend’ for bike sales as Australians chose to ride in unprecedented numbers has resulted in a 50% increase in sales across the board.

With tomorrow (Thursday 3rd June) being World Bicycle Day and the boom in imports and sales, the bicycle industry is calling on governments at all levels to invest accordingly in the bicycle infrastructure to support the approximately four million Australians choosing to ride for fun, fitness and transport every week.

Bourke advises “Bicycle sales throughout COVID were fantastic, emptying shops and warehouses alike and we expect that demand to drive this new 2020/21 Financial Year import record of 1.75 million units.

“It seems Australians voted for bike riding during COVID and visited bike shops with the entire family, leaving with new bikes for everyone or getting their old bikes from the shed repaired and ready for riding.

“Those supply chain issues in 2020 that caused significant shortages of stock across the board are still being felt with very low floor stock available nationally and long wait lists, something that will take many months to resolve but makes this new record all the more remarkable.”

Bourke added “It is not just bikes flying out the doors. Sales of spare parts such as tyres and tubes, lights, frames and forks have all increased by 50% while repair shops had wait lists of several weeks as people pulled their old bikes out of the shed and realise they need some repairs to get them going again.”

Bourke says many of the bikes were used near home during the lockdown restrictions but are now being used to provide genuine transport solutions as people have headed back the office and looked for healthy, convenient and COVIDSafe commuting options.

“With three months still to go for this financial year, the numbers have already equalled any full year on record, and with many un-fulfilled orders still in the system, the number will continue to be unprecedented.”

Key statistics:

  • The previous records - Financial Year 2014-2015 - 1,419,825 bicycles imported into Australia
  • Since the 2014/15 record, numbers continued to fall to a low of 1.1 million in 2019-2020
  • The impact of COVID is a predicted 50% growth to 1.75 million* bikes, and like many imported products, this would be higher except for global stock shortages on bicycles that have kept waiting lists long across the country.
  • Bicycle imports for the nine months to the end of March 2021 = 1,413,327 units (equal to previous full year records).
  • On average two adults bikes are being sold for every child’s bike.
  • Highlighting how much Australians have embraced bicycles, the record figure is about double the 917,000 motor vehicles sold in Australia in 2020.
  • ABS bicycle import stats have been used since 1998 as an objective proxy for bicycle sales.

Bicycle Industries Australia is the peak industry body representing Australia’s bicycle industry.

* Bike data from the Australian Bureau Statistics.

Image courtesy of Epic Ebike.

Related Articles

29th October 2019 - Deakin University researcher designs smart bicycle helmet

12th October 2015 - Bicycle Network announces new women’s-only bike riding initiative

16th April 2013 - Emaar brings bicycle hire service to Dubai Marina

23rd December 2011 - Making Australia more bicycle friendly

4th May 2021 - Thredbo celebrates 30 years as a premier mountain bike destination

24th February 2021 - Darwin improves bike network signage for fitness, recreation and tourism

3rd February 2021 - Mountain bike trails upgraded in Margaret River and Perth Hills

14th January 2021 - Bike maintenance station installed along Mount Gambier’s Rail Trail

26th October 2020 - Tourism Workforce Alliance fast-tracks delivery of bike trails and reserve upgrades in Queenstown

8th October 2020 - Melbourne Inner city councils welcome funding for integrated bike network

2nd October 2020 - City of Fremantle celebrates WA Bike Month 

27th August 2020 - New and upgraded bikeways planned for Brisbane

21st August 2020 - Design finalised for Minnamurra Bike Skills Track

15th June 2020 - 40 kilometres of new bike lanes being fast-tracked in Melbourne


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