Taipei (Taiwan News) -- Bicycles and bicycle parts made in Taiwan continue to be exported around the world, with Europe being the biggest overseas market, according to statistics published by the Ministry of Economic Affairs on Monday.
Europe accounted for half, or 50.5 percent, of Taiwan's bicycles and bicycle parts exported in 2016, the data showed.
North America as the second largest export market, accounting for 23.4 percent, while the Asian market came in at third with 17.5%.
The three countries that imported the most Taiwan-made bicycles were the United States, the Netherlands, and the UK. As for bicycle parts, Germany, the U.S. and the Netherlands were the biggest importers.
Though Taiwan's market share in Europe has dropped 7.8 percent since 1996 due to competition from China and Cambodia, Taiwanese-made bicycles remain popular among athletes in Europe because of their light weight and high quality. Taiwan still dominates the market share for bicycles and parts in the Netherlands at 37.1 percent and the UK at 26.1 percent, both higher than China's share in those markets.
What was once the biggest national market for Taiwanese bicycles, the U.S. import market, is now dominated by China at 66 percent to Taiwan's 27.5 percent, due to American consumers' preference for cheaper bicycles for leisure use. However, Taiwan still commands the U.S. market in terms of bicycle parts.
Instead of leisure, Japan's bicycle import market is focused on low-priced bicycles for getting to work, where Chinese-made bicycles control 84.2 percent to only 14.5 percent for Taiwan.
As for the mainland China bicycle import market, exports of Taiwan-made bicycles have had an annual average increase of 31.6 percent per year since 1996. Taiwan-made bicycles last year accounted for 91.5 percent of the assembled bicycles China imported in 2016, and it also supplied 49.8 percent of China's bicycle parts imports.