(Business in Cameroon) - Over the first six months of 2018, Cameroon’s export revenues totaled CFA794.6 billion for 2.5 million tons of goods shipped. The figure reflects a decline by 16.8% compared to the same period in 2017, the National Statistics Institute (INS) said.
Despite a decrease in revenues from the sale of crude oil (-33.8%), raw aluminum (-32.8%) and raw rubber (-33.1%), the main driver of this poor performance is the cocoa-coffee sector.
According to INS, over the period reviewed, cocoa export revenues slumped by 13.4% coupled with a bigger decline for by-products such as paste and butter (-89.4% and -90.4% respectively). Meanwhile, coffee export revenues fell by 30.1%.
This decline in overall export earnings, particularly for cocoa, is primary the consequence of unrest in Anglophone regions which hampers the activities of Telcar Cocoa (U.S. Cargill’s local trader), a company which generally accounts for 30% of Cameroon’s bean exports.
Let’s however mention the improvement in the local processing sector, in recent years. Out of an officially estimated national marketed production of 253,510 tons during the 2017-2018 season, Cameroon locally processed 53,494 tons of beans, an increase by more than 20,000 tons compared to the previous year.
In need to boost the national processing capacity, a new unit (Atlantic Cocoa) with a capacity of 48,000 tons, expandable to 64,000 tons, will be commissioned at the end of 2018 in the industrial zone of the deep-water port of Kribi, south region. Cameroon could reach “a processing capacity of 130,000 to 150,000 tons over the next three years,” said the trade minister Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana.
Brice R. Mbodiam