(Business in Cameroon) - In July 2023, banana producers operating in Cameroon exported 11,764 tons of the agricultural commodity. This volume is down by 1,439 tons year-on-year, or 10.9% in relative terms. The relative underperformance was mainly due to the performance of market leader Plantations du Haut Penja (PHP), a subsidiary of French group Compagnie fruitière de Marseille.
According to statistics compiled by the Cameroon Banana Association (Assobacam), in July 2023, PHP achieved its lowest export volume since 2022. Specifically, it exported just 8,714 tons of bananas in July 2023, down 1,727 tons (-16.54%) year-on-year. This is the second time its export volumes comes below the 10,000 tons mark this year. The first time, it recorded 9,761 tons (in May 2023).
The downturn in the export volume of PHP was mitigated by the excellent performance of the state-owned agribusiness company CDC. According to Assobacam data, CDC, the country's second-largest employer after the central government, exported 2,035 tons of bananas in July 2023. This is up by 428 tonnes (+26.6%) compared to the 1,607 tons it exported during the same period in 2022.
As was the case with PHP, the exports of market minnows Boh Plantations Plc also fell in July 2023. According to Assobacam, it exported 1,015 tons of bananas, against 1,155 tons a year earlier. This represents a drop of 140 tons (12%) year-on-year.
Overall, the drop in banana exports recorded in July 2023 translates to a drop in the income of producers and ultimately to a reduction in the foreign earnings of Cameroon, since the agricultural commodity is one of the country’s main export products.
Brice R. Mbodiam