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LEDs brighten Taiwan exports

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While exports of Taiwan-made bicycles took a minor dip in 2014, exports of LED cycling lights registered a 41 percent increase as cyclists paid more attention to their safety, according to government data released at the opening of Taipei Cycle two weeks ago.

Cyclists are replacing old halogen-style lights with more modern and efficient LED units. And Taiwan leveraged its extensive supply chain to produce high-value products which could compete with China.

But a 2 percent decrease in bicycle exports last year to 3.75 million units, indicates a global economy still under stress, particularly in Europe, and a sharp decline in demand from China for Taiwan’s more expensive bikes, Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs reported.

Adding to this was a slight decrease in the overall value of Taiwan’s bicycle exports from $1.725 billion in 2013 to $1.721 billion last year — a 0.19 percent decrease. As for Europe, Taiwan’s largest market, manufacturers exported 2.1 million units including 58,000 electric bikes. China remains the largest manufacturer and exporter of electric bikes to Europe.

Driving the drop in overall exports was a rapid fall-off in demand for high-end Taiwanese bikes sold in China. The mainland’s economy retrenched, credit tightened and growth slowed.