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Taipei, June 12 (CNA) Taiwan's exports of electric bicycles surpassed outbound sales of traditional bikes in the first five months of this year, with the export value of the former hitting a new high for the five-month period, according to the Ministry of Finance (MOF).
Data compiled by the ministry showed Taiwan's electric bike exports totaled US$550 million from January-May, up 44.2 percent from a year earlier, compared with US$530 million generated by traditional bike producers, up 38 percent from a year earlier.
Rising tensions between the United States and China prompted foreign electric bike buyers to shift their orders to Taiwan, while a growing awareness of environmental protection issues paved the way for an increase in electric bike shipments, The MOF said.
Electric bikes became a new driver to Taiwan's vehicle and component export growth in the five month period, when the value hit US$5.32 billion, up 41.2 percent from a year earlier, the MOF added.
The lower growth in traditional bikes reflected a fall in global demand as the world's economy was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and there was an increase in bike sharing worldwide, the ministry said.
The United States was the largest buyer of Taiwan-made electric bikes, accounting for 39.3 percent of total outbound sales in the five month period, while Europe was the top foreign buyer of traditional bikes from Taiwan, making up 67 percent of the total.
Data on vehicle and part exports from Taiwan cover passenger cars and components as well as bicycles and bike parts, according to the MOF.
In the five month period, bike component exports from Taiwan totaled US$1.74 billion, up 65.2 percent from a year earlier with Europe the largest buyer, accounting for 53.6 percent of total sales, ahead of the U.S. (14.0 percent) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bloc (12.0 percent), the ministry said.
Bike components accounted for a greater share of vehicle and component sales in the five months, the MOF said, making up 32.8 percent of total sales, compared with 30.7 percent in 2020.
Passenger car exports from Taiwan totaled US$400 million in the first five months of the year, up 47.7 percent from a year earlier, the MOF said citing the effects of economic reopening around the world amid COVID-19.
The Middle East was the largest buyer of Taiwan's passenger cars, with purchases accounting for 43.3 percent of the total in the five month period, but the growth moderated from more than 80 percent seen in recent years, a reflection of the region's weaker economy.
The U.S. was the second largest buyer of Taiwan's passenger cars in the five month period, making up 17.2 percent from a year earlier on the back of strong demand for all terrain vehicles, ahead of Europe (14.8 percent) and China/Hong Kong (14.4 percent), the MOF said.
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