Imports of bicycles up 37% in April; record monthly tire imports
WASHINGTON (BRAIN) – The United States imported 37% more bicycles in April than in the same month last year, as the surge in bicycle imports that began in the second quarter of last year continues . April’s bicycle imports – at least in terms of units – were down slightly from the previous month, suggesting March’s numbers were outliers.
Imports of many other bicycle products also continued at a high level in April, with monthly tire imports valued at over $ 10 million for the first time since at least 2002, the first year for which monthly figures are available. The previous monthly record was $ 8.9 million, set in June 2012.
The figures, the most recent available, were released Tuesday by the Commerce Department. The bicycle figures include all imported traditional bicycles, but not e-bikes. Figures include imports destined for all retail channels including mass market, e-commerce and specialty retail. Component figures do not include parts that arrive on complete bikes. The dollar figures correspond to the import value, which is approximately one-third of the final retail value.
The United States imported 1.2 million bicycles in April, up from 857,000 in April 2020 but down from 1.3 million in April 2019.
As the number of imported bicycles declined, their value increased. The April 2021 import value was $ 140 million, an average value per bike of $ 119. In March, the value of bicycle imports was $ 131 million, with an average value of bicycles of just $ 87.
The average value of the bikes could reveal the price increases that are hitting the industry due to the costs of raw materials and other factors. But the average value of bicycle imports fluctuates considerably from month to month depending on the range of seasonal products arriving at the port. Average bicycle import values tend to peak every year in March or April.
Since the beginning of the year, imports of bicycles from January to April have increased by 81% in units compared to 2020 and by 56% compared to 2019. Dollar values have increased by 67% and 34% by compared to the same comparisons. The average value of imports per bike for the first four months was 4,107 in 2019, $ 101 in 2020, and $ 93 this year.
The outliers for March
Generally, imports of bicycles and bicycle parts have increased from the trough in March and April last year, due to factory delays and canceled orders in the first months of the pandemic.
However, even against the backdrop of the surge, imports of bicycles and most parts in March 2021 were significantly higher than in the past few months. Industry experts said this was due to the timing of orders and a slight slowdown in imports in early 2021 due to the renewal of tariffs on Chinese products.
In most product categories, imports returned to something more normal in April. For example, the value of derailleur imports in April was down 7% from the previous month; imports of pedals fell 14%; and stool imports fell 16% – in all cases the values were higher than the same period in 2020 and 2019.
However, imports of tires and chains – two categories of products essential to retailers – increased by 39% and 20% respectively. April’s tire imports totaled $ 10.3 million, up 127% from April 2020.