It is the bicycle’s 200th birthday. Portugal is its biggest exporter in the EU

  • ECO News
  • 14 June 2017

The Portuguese aren't the biggest bike-users in their day-to-day life, but Portugal is the main European exporter of the two-wheeled vehicle. 1817 is considered the year of the invention of the bike.

Portugal is the largest exporter of bicycles in the European Union. The Portuguese exports of bikes correspond to 15% of all bicycles exported last year. On the contrary, the United Kingdom was the largest importer of bicycles. The information was disclosed by the Eurostat to mark two centuries of the bike invention.

All in all, bicycles’ exports in the European Union reached 11 million euros in 2016. Portugal has a 15% quota, which means Portuguese exports of bicycles reached 1.65 million euros in 2016.

Italy comes in second (14%) and the Netherlands in third place (13%). Out of all the bikes exported by EU Member-States, 92% remained withing the European single market. The remaining bicycles went to Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Russia.

As for imports, the European Union imports 17 million euros in bicycles. The country which imports the most is the country that is leaving: the United Kingdom is responsible for 18% of all European bike imports last year — which means, a little over three million euros worth of imports.

42% of bicycle imports originated from outside the European Union: Taiwan (24%), Cambodia (18%), Bangladesh (11%) and the Philippines (10%).

Although its origin is uncertain and claimed by many, 1817 is said to be the year in which the bicycle was born. Eurostat speaks of the German Karl von Drais’ test to the vehicle as the moment of the invention of what is currently called “a bike”.