(Business in Cameroon) - Since late July 2020, the average coca prices per kilogram in production areas in Cameroon has dropped below XAF1,000. According to système d’information des filières (SIF), an information system set up by the national coffee and cocoa board (NCCB) on prices in the cocoa market, after reaching the maximum of XAF975 (against a minimum of XAF925) per kilogram on July 27, this price stabilized to XAF950 since July 29.
According to data compiled by the SIF, this is the first time since the first quarter of 2019 that these prices have dropped below XAF1,000. Even during the rainy season (when prices usually drop because of difficulties in accessing production areas) the prices had kept firmly above the XAF1,000 mark.
According to actors in the cocoa sector, this drop observed since the end of July (end of the cocoa season) is because the demand from transformers and other exporters - who have been dynamic over the whole campaign - is decreasing.
A projected rise in production
This dynamism was notably observed on prices that remained constant over the whole campaign showing the strength of the demand. This demand was boosted by the arrival of new processors on the Cameroonian market (Neo Industry notably) and the increase in the processing capacity of some already settled processors (Sic Cacaos).
During the campaign, the NCCB was already forecasting an about 2% rise in the recently concluded 2019-2020 cocoa campaign. Nevertheless, only official figures will indicate whether it was right. The same source also informed that even despite the security crisis affecting the Southwest since 2016, this rise in production would have been higher but for the coronavirus health crisis.
Brice R. Mbodiam