Yaoundé - 26 February 2024 -

Cameroon: An impactful minor player in global trade

Cameroon: An impactful minor player in global trade
  • Comments   -   Wednesday, 29 November 2023 08:43

(Business in Cameroon) - Last year, Cameroon only covered 0.002% of the global market share, according to the report just released by the Competitiveness Committee, a specialized body of the Ministry of Economy.

However, the document noted that despite this overall weak weight, this central African nation plays a leading role in supplying certain products, including certain types of wood and their derivatives. For example, Cameroon was the "world's leading exporter" of sawn "sapelli and iroko" woods in 2022. The country also ranks 3rd globally in the export of "other sawn tropical woods" during the same period. The dynamism of active forest operators in Cameroon also makes the country the 6th exporter of "veneer sheets" in the world.

In addition to Cameroonian wood, mainly exported to the European Union (EU) and Great Britain, although Asia has been gaining ground in recent years, Cameroon's cocoa also holds a respectable position in the global market. According to the Competitiveness Committee's document, the country was the 4th global exporter of cocoa paste and the 11th global exporter of cocoa butter in 2022. The country has held this position for about 3 years due to the entry, into the local processing market, of new grinders (Atlantic Cocoa, Neo Industry, Ferrero, etc.) that have boosted the chocolate industry.

Cameroon's position in the global market for cocoa paste and butter can also be explained by the quality of its beans, highly sought after by chocolatiers. With its brick-red color and rare organoleptic characteristics, Cameroonian cocoa joined the "highly selective" club of "fine cocoa" producers in June 2023, a club until now reserved for South American countries only, announced Trade Minister Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana. He was speaking at the end of a meeting of the International Cocoa Organization's (ICCO) panel of experts, held from June 13 to 14, 2023, in Antananarivo, Madagascar.

Among Cameroon's flagship products in the global market in 2022, the Competitiveness Committee also mentions fresh bananas, with the country being the 2nd producer in the Africa-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP) region, and especially the 10th exporter in the world, far behind Ecuador (world number one) and the Philippines (2nd). Following are liquefied natural gas and crude oil, two products for which Cameroon ranks 20th globally in exports.

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