Cambodia’s Bicycle Exports Plummeted by 53.6% in 2023

According to a report from the Cambodian General Department of Customs and Excise, Cambodia’s bicycle exports amounted to $416.7 million in 2023, representing a significant drop of 53.6% compared to the previous year, marking the lowest export level since 2020.

Significant Export Decline

Cambodia had experienced rapid growth in bicycle exports since 2018 when bicycle exports reached $377 million. In 2019, exports amounted to $412.5 million. In 2020, Cambodia established itself as a major bicycle exporter to the European Union, with exports reaching $527 million.

In 2022, Cambodia’s bicycle exports to international markets saw a substantial increase, reaching $966 million. With multiple advantages, including policies and labor cost, Cambodia surpassed China and became the largest exporter of bicycles to the European market, ranking as the world’s fifth-largest bicycle-exporting country. Bicycles were exported to over 50 countries and regions, including the EU, UK, US, Canada, Japan, China, and more, becoming one of Cambodia’s key industries.

However, as the demand for electric bicycles declined, Cambodia’s export business was affected, resulting in a more than 50% drop in exports in 2023, returning to 2019 levels.

Decreased Demand in European and American Markets

Europe and the United States are the main export destinations for Cambodian bicycles, and changes in demand in these two major markets directly impact Cambodia’s bicycle exports. From January to October 2023, the quantity of bicycles imported by the EU from Cambodia was 749,155 units, a 9.9% decrease compared to the same period in 2022. Although the average selling price increased slightly, the total import value decreased by 6% to €259.4 million.

On the other hand, demand in the US market also significantly declined compared to previous years. According to data from the US International Trade Commission, the quantity of bicycles imported from Cambodia to the US decreased by 75% from January to October 2023, dropping from 11.22 million units in 2022 to 2.62 million units. The total export value also decreased by nearly two-thirds, from $281.4 million in the first three quarters of 2022 to $98 million in the same period last year.

The decline in both bicycle export volume and export value in Cambodia has also had a certain impact on the economies of neighboring countries, particularly Vietnam. Five companies in the Bavet Economic Zone, which is a major producer of Cambodian bicycles, have been significantly affected in their operations. Many bicycle companies that set up factories near the Cambodian border and economic zones have also been impacted. Moreover, as Vietnam is Cambodia’s neighbor and a bicycle parts manufacturer, it has not been immune to the effects. With the decrease in Cambodia’s bicycle export volume and demand, Vietnam’s exports of bicycle parts have also decreased.

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