Overall, shipping manifests indicated an increase in imports for both traditional and electric bikes in November. This resulted in a strong rebound from the October lows. However, the trend for H2 2023 is declining imports in traditional bikes, and a flattening import curve for electric. Heavy discounting during the early holiday season indicates there continues to be inventory pressure on brands.
The chart above shows shipping manifest data and compares data from the US ITC Import Duties records for Adult bicycles. Although certainly not perfect, for 2023, the two sources are fairly well correlated. This supports some use of shipping manifest data to provide another indicator for business activity in the bicycle market. With that said, import data should be considered the source of truth, as it relies on reporting by brands, with legal responsibility, rather than using heuristics alone. If the HTS code system is ever expanded to included electric bicycles, we will include that data on this cart to show how it compares to the rest.
The share of electric bikes mentioned in shipping manifests continues to be strong, pulling up the power series trend line above 20%. As we finish off the 2023 holiday season and enter the historically quiet Q1 winter, it will be interesting to see how imports shift, particularly when comparing traditional to electric bikes.