As Britain’s best cyclists head for the National Track Cycling Championships in Manchester later this week, an analysis of recent data from HMRC reveals that exports of bicycles made in Britain are at a record high.
Asia accounts for some of the fastest growing demand, with figures showing that in the year to November 2018, bicycle exports to China rose by 109%, to Taiwan by 200% and to Malaysia by an incredible 724%. In total, bicycle exports to Asia and Oceania rose to a value of £10.8m in the same period.
The United States also remains a core market for the two wheeled goods. Exports in the year to November 2018 were worth £5.1m, a 7.8% increase since the same period 5 years ago.
Minister of State at the Department for International Trade, Baroness Fairhead, said:
"It’s fantastic to see that recent successes for British cycling on the road and track are translating into economic benefits, as we export both our passion for cycling and our manufacturing excellence overseas.
"The world increasingly looks to Britain for expertise in the cycling industry, whether in competitive racing, recreational pursuits or the daily commute to work. These latest figures show how high-quality British manufacturing is in demand, not just in traditional markets, but further afield in the likes of China, Taiwan and Malaysia."
One British manufacturer leading the pack is Pashley, who have been crafting bespoke hand-made bicycles from their factory in Stratford-upon-Avon since 1926. Pashley now exports to over 45 countries, and here in the UK provides the renowned city hire bikes in London and Edinburgh.
The company recently took their brand to a truly global audience when they supplied the production company for Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns with 36 of their black Roadster bicycles, which are ridden by lamplighters, who take the place of the dancing chimney sweeps in the original movie.
Adrian Williams, Managing Director at Pashley, said demand for his company’s bikes was growing around the world:
"Despite great changes in the bicycle manufacturing industry since Pashley’s inception, we have continued to focus on doing what we do best – designing and making quality hand-built bicycles for business and consumer use.
"Our product is design led, hand-built and authentically British, making it particularly attractive to a growing overseas market. We currently provide cycles for both business and consumer markets in over 45 countries worldwide, including New Zealand, China, Finland and Denmark."
Global demand for UK goods and services continues to grow, with exports in the year to November 2018 increasing to £630 billion. The number of exporting businesses is also rising, with a 1.5% increase to 110,000 in the third quarter of 2018 compared to the same quarter in the previous year.