New data released by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and subsequently analysed by the Bicycle Association has shown a nosedive in exports of bikes and e-Bikes into the UK from Europe, mirroring a broader Brexit led trend that has seen a slowdown of trade in both directions.
The headline data, which does have some caveats, includes the finding that in January of 2021 bicycle exports from the UK to EU declined by value to the tune of 60% and by volume 32% when compared to January 2020.
There were a string of complaints by Brit brands at the start of 2021, with most quarrels relating to the eleventh hour inking of a deal with the EU and the subsequent expectation that businesses should be prepared for a Brexit deal for which many details were still lacking.
Though the UK does not export much in the way of electric bikes at present the value of exports dipped 51% and volume 63%. In this instance,Rest of World data posted a 44% value and 24% volume decline too.
Shipping in the other direction, European exports of bicycles to the UK slumped by 59% in value and 68% in volume when like-for-like comparison is made.
Though there are other factors at play, such as a global turbulence in shipping efficiency and Covid’s significant obstacles, it is fair to say that uniquely Brexit-based problems have arisen; exports to the Rest of World were shown to have risen 61% by value, though a volume decline of 9% registered.
Exports of e-Bikes from the EU to the UK fell by 35% in value and 59% in volume, tracking ahead of a wider Rest of World slowdown that measured 20% down in value and 13% in volume.
The figures should be taken in the context of forward ordering and Brexit planning. Many bike businesses will have planned shipments, to the best of their ability, ahead of time to land before the Brexit cut off. Furthermore, the Bicycle Association says that the methodology goalposts moved and so comparing like-for-like is problematic.
The Bicycle Association has provided further analysis to its members today. For a forecast of retail buying habits through 2021 and beyond CyclingIndustry.News’ market report provides complimentary analysis to the Market Data Service offered by the trade body.