Cambodia’s bicycle exports plummet amid global economic uncertainty

Cambodia's bicycle exports plummet amid global economic uncertainty

Cambodia, once prominent in Southeast Asia for its bicycle manufacturing and export, has shown steady growth in export volume and value over the past few years. You can also check the top 10 electric bike manufacturers in Cambodia for your reference.

According to customs data, between 2019 and 2021, Cambodia’s bicycle export volume grew by an average of 15% per year, and the value of its exports rose at the same time, as the country’s position in the global bicycle manufacturing industry chain gradually improved.

However, since 2023, this growth trend has declined significantly, and Cambodia has begun to face the dilemma of a double decline in bicycle export volume and export value, which has continued this year.

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    Exports plummet

    Cambodia’s bicycle exports were hit hard in 2023, with the total value of the year’s exports falling 53.68% from the previous year to $416.7 million, the lowest level in recent years.

    In 2024, this trend has not improved. In the first quarter of this year, Cambodia’s bicycle exports totaled just $96.9 million, down a whopping 43.5% from the same period last year.

    This significant decline continues the trend into 2023, breaking the previous streak of growth.

    Exports plummet

    Inventory backlog and sharp decline in orders

    Cambodia’s bicycle export market(e-bike market) is mainly concentrated in Europe and the United States. However, market demand in Europe and the United States has declined significantly in recent years.

    Due to the backlog of inventory and increased uncertainty in the global economy, European and American customers have begun to cut orders in large quantities, resulting in Cambodian bicycle manufacturers facing a sharp decline in orders.

    According to relevant data from the European Union and the United States, imports of Cambodian bicycles from these two markets have declined significantly since last year.

    Inventory backlog and sharp decline in orders

    On the other hand, the global economic slowdown and increased uncertainty have reduced the willingness of European and American consumers to buy bicycles, further affecting Cambodia’s bicycle exports.

    Specifically, the EU imported 749,155 bicycles from Cambodia from January to October 2023, down 9.9% from the same period in 2022, according to relevant EU and US data.(top 10 electric bike manufacturers in USA and top 10 electric bike manufacturers in Europe)

    Despite a higher average selling price, the total value of imports fell by only 6% to €259.4 million, while the US market fell by 75%. This downward trend in demand has hit Cambodia’s bicycle exports hard.

    Southeast Asia is widely affected

    Cambodia’s declining exports of bicycles in terms of both volume and value have had an impact on the economies of neighbouring countries, particularly Vietnam, where five companies located in the special economic zone of Bavet City (Bavet) have had a major impact on their operations.

    These companies are the main producers of bicycles in Cambodia, and the decline in export volume and value has had a direct impact on their operations.

    In addition, many bicycle companies that chose to locate their factories near the Cambodian border and SEZ were also affected.

    Secondly, Vietnam, as a neighbouring country of Cambodia and a manufacturer of bicycle parts, could not avoid being affected. As Cambodia’s bicycle exports declined and demand declined, so did Vietnam’s bicycle parts exports.

    Southeast Asia is widely affected

    Bicycles are an important export commodity for Cambodia after clothing, footwear, and tourism products, so the industry’s export decline has had a considerable impact on the local economy.

    As one of the country’s important exports, the decline in bicycle exports has directly affected the revenues and employment of related enterprises, and has also posed a certain challenge to Cambodia’s economic diversification strategy.

    The bicycle industry in Cambodia still faces many uncertainties in the future. The global economic slowdown and unstable market demand may continue to affect the industry’s export performance.

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