Despite supply shortages, the 2020/2021 financial year was by far an all-time record for bicycle imports to Australia.
But how is the current financial year faring so far?
At the time of writing, we have Australian Customs import data for the first five months of the current financial year: 1st July to 30th November 2021. During that period a total of 767,977 bicycles have been imported, consisting of 305,678 children’s bikes and 462,299 adult bikes.
For the same five months of the previous financial year, the total was 855,899 total – 277,794 children’s and 578,105 adult bikes respectively.
This means children’s bike imports are up by 10% for the first five months of this financial year. Anecdotally, there are now plenty of kids bikes in shops and warehouses, so it looks like that supply shortfall has been rectified and Santa did not get stuck in any chimneys this Christmas, unlike the previous year when some kids missed out.
Meanwhile, adult bike imports were down by just over 20% for the corresponding period, year on year. A total of 115,806 fewer adult bikes were imported in the first five months of the current financial year. Looking at a month-by-month basis for adult bikes, July, August and September were each down by just over 20,000 units. October was closer to level pegging but then November was down by almost 50,000 units.
In the adult market, informal feedback from retailers suggests low-end bikes are now not too hard to source, but there are still a lot of gaps in mid to high-end ranges, including road, gravel, MTB and multiple categories of e-bike.
Although imports are down on last financial year’s all-time record, looking at first five months of the previous 11 financial years, they were ‘normal’ – better than six of the 11 years and lower than five.
But the break-down is not so normal. Children’s bike imports for the five months were the second highest on record, but only three of the previous 11 years brought fewer adult bikes imported for the five-month period.
Thanks to Bicycle Industries Australia (BIA) who collates and refines the import data collected by Australian Customs, then shares it as a service to the industry.