Cuba will build 500,000 bicycles to help curb effects of a fuel shortage caused by a cutback in oil imports from the Soviet Union, the official Cuban news agency Prensa Latina said Friday.

The dispatch, monitored in Mexico City, said the first units would go on the market next year.The agency quoted the newspaper Rebel Youth as saying Cuba would build five factories to make the parts for the bicycles.

Cuba adopted energy-saving plans a month ago because of cutbacks in oil from the Soviets, long a major Cuban supplier. Measures included a 50 percent cutback in fuel reserved for state-owned cars and a 30 percent cutback for private vehicles.

The agency said Cuba also might buy bicycles from China.