Continuing Very Low Bicycle Imports are Actually a Positive Sign

Canberra, ACT

We’ve just received the latest bicycle import data for the months of January and February 2023.

In summary, the number of bikes that were imported was way below average. In normal times, this might be cause for concern, but given our current industry situation of overstocks and discounting at both wholesale and retail levels, the extremely low import numbers are actually good news.

“February’s figures are far fewer than any other month since records have been saved, dating back to January 2009.”

As we previously reported here, bicycle imports plummeted to a record low in December 2022 of 54,522 units.

January was almost the same at 54,718 units and just 32,410 bicycles were imported into Australia in February. Putting that into perspective, February’s figures are far fewer than any other month since records have been saved, dating back to January 2009.

Adding January and February 2023 together gives as total of 87,128 units. This compares to the previous two Covid boom years of 266,041 for Jan/Feb 2021 and 281,822 for Jan/Feb 2022 – more than three times higher.

Even when comparing to pre-Covid years, imports for January and February were typically around double the 2023 numbers.

Within the 2023 data, children’s bikes continue to be the segment with the lowest numbers – just 11,756 imported in January and 8,684 in February 2023, another all-time single month low since 2009.

We reported in our previous imports article that the average unit value of bicycles, both children’s and adult, had spiked to record levels.

This trend has continued for January and February 2023, with the overall average unit value reaching $568.16 and $681.39 respectively for these two months. February’s average unit value exceeded December 2022’s previous all-time record by a further $43.47.

But as we cautioned in the previous article, it’s too early to say how much of this reflects a structural shift to higher value bikes, including more e-bikes, and how much is simply a reflection of the larger overstocks of children’s bikes and low-end adult bikes that is temporarily skewing the mix of bikes imported towards more higher-end bikes.

These record unit values mean that even despite the low import volumes, the total value of bikes imported in January and February 2023 was still significantly higher than the value in January and February of pre-Covid years, in fact around 50% higher compared to the 2016 to 2020 figures for the same two months.

The import data also includes some P&A categories such as tyres and tubes. Overall P&A imports are running in line with pre-Covid years.

Thanks to Bicycle Industries Australia (BIA) that compiles the monthly import statistics from data supplied by Australian Border Force.

UK E-Bike Import Values Soar

The value of e-bike imports to the European Union jumped by 33.8% in 2022, also buoyed by a significant rise in bike prices.

The total value surged to €1.137 billion (A$1.844 billion), as the average unit price shot up from €823 (A$1,335) in 2021 to €959 (A$1,556).


  1. Steve on 12th May 2023 at 7:25 am

    China’s Covid outbreak in November/December May have contributed to this. Factories shut down for about 6 weeks. We had stock due in February and it is just landing now. Will be interesting to see if a spike in the current quarter.

    • Phil Latz on 15th May 2023 at 8:11 pm

      Thanks Steve for your very interesting point.
      As soon as we have the latest figures we’ll publish an update.

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