Yaoundé - 13 April 2024 -

CDC's banana exports hit second lowest in a year amid market struggles

CDC's banana exports hit second lowest in a year amid market struggles
  • Comments   -   Tuesday, 26 March 2024 07:21

(Business in Cameroon) - Cameroon’s agro-industrial company CDC exported only 1,890 tons of bananas in February 2024, according to figures released by the Banana Association of Cameroon (Assobacam). This export volume, which is only one-sixth of the sales made outside of the country by the leading local market company, Plantations of Upper Penja (11,981 tons), marks the CDC's second-worst performance over a year. The first occurred in April 2023, with just 1,803 tons shipped to the international market.

With the exception of April (1,803 tons) and May 2023 (1,968 tons), CDC had not recorded exports below 2,000 tons for a year. The company even managed to sell over 3,300 tons internationally in December 2023 and January 2024. These were its two biggest sales volumes since returning to the market in June 2020. As a reminder CDC was even off Cameroon's banana exporters list, between September 2018 and May 2020, following the consequences of the socio-political crisis, which has shaken the North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon since the end of 2016.

With cumulative losses of CFA38.7 billion between 2019 and 2021 and salary backlogs of CFA35.7 billion as of June 30, 2023, according to the Technical Commission for the Rehabilitation of Public and Parapublic Sector Enterprises (CTR), the CDC is the Cameroonian company most affected by the ongoing separatist conflict. The crisis, which saw company facilities destroyed, employees killed, and forced to abandon plantations, resulted in the loss of no fewer than 5,500 jobs in this agro-industrial unit, the country's second-largest employer after public administration.

Despite these challenging conditions, the CDC is gradually recovering. The company managed to export an average of 2,000 tons of bananas per month throughout 2023. In January 2024, it even made record exports of 3,347 tons (its highest since August 2018), before dropping back to 1,890 tons the following month.

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