Dumping and predatory trade

How Portugal leads Europe’s bike production

Last July, during the month of the Tour de France, we reported on the return of a French cycle brand to France. 

Helped by anti-dumping duties on China and countries through which it was routing bicycle exports, the manufacture of Mercier cycles returned to Europe from South East Asia.

This July there’s another example – this time one of Europe’s leading manufacturers, InCycles in Águeda, Portugal – prospering in part because of EU protection against dumped imports.

Agueda is dubbed “Bike Valley” because it is where Portugal’s bicycle production is concentrated.

As the demand for bicycles has skyrocketed worldwide in recent years, Portugal has led the way. According to the latest data from Eurostat, Portugal is the largest bicycle manufacturer in Europe with a total production of 2.6 million bicycles in 2020 – ahead of former market leaders like Italy and Germany. The country, which accounts for only two per cent of the EU population, is responsible for one-fifth of all bicycles produced in Europe.

“This development is certainly the result of various factors, such as the European Union’s anti-dumping measures and global developments like the current supply chain issues. But above all, it is the continuous investments which have been made here by the local companies,” says Filipe Mota, export manager for InCycles.

The EU protects its local industries and local jobs against unfair competition from imports. It should understand when countries like South Africa do the same.