(Business in Cameroon) - Cameroon exported 95,623 tons of bananas in the first half of 2023, according to figures published by the banana association Assobacam. Year-on-year, the performance is down by 14,468 tons (-15%). From the figures, it appears that the overall decline is due to the slowdown in the activities of market leader Plantations du Haut Penja (PHP), the Cameroonian subsidiary of French group Compagnie Fruitière de Marseille.
Over the said period, PHP exported 76,021 tons of bananas, down 15,879 tons (-20%) compared to the 91,900 tons it exported in H1-2022. Unlike PHP, state-owned agribusiness corporation CDC recorded a rise in its banana shipments abroad during the period. The corporation, which is the second largest employer after the civil service, exported 13,677 tons of bananas in H1-2023 against 10,393 tons a year earlier. This represents a 23% (3,284 tons) rise.
The third operator (out of three) in the market also recorded a huge drop in its exports. Boh Plantations PLC, the said operator, experienced a 31.6% drop in its exports between June 2022 and June 2023, from 7,798 tons to just 5,925 tons.
This decline in banana exports during the first half of 2023 implies a loss of export revenue for Cameroon and income for the producers, particularly for PHP. Since January 2022, PHP's exports have become much more profitable because, as an exporter of Fairtrade-certified products, it benefits from the price increase decided by Fairtrade International in late 2021.
Brice R. Mbodiam