Yaoundé - 27 January 2023 -

Cameroon trade deficit widens in 2021, despite higher exports

Cameroon trade deficit widens in 2021, despite higher exports
  • Comments   -   Friday, 02 December 2022 17:38

(Business in Cameroon) - Cameroon’s trade deficit widened by 7.5% in 2021 to CFA1,478 billion, compared to CFA1,375 billion in 2020. According to a recent report published by the national statistics agency (INS), the country spent CFA663 billion more on imports than the previous year. This 21.8% increase is greater than the increase in exports, which amounted to CFA591 billion over the year.

INS pointed out that the level of aggravation of this deficit was mitigated during the year under review by the good performance of hydrocarbon exports, particularly crude oil and natural gas. Revenues from these two products have enabled Cameroon to avoid reaching CFA2,000 billion in trade deficit in 2021, INS said. "Excluding crude oil, the trade balance deficit amounts to CFA2,447 billion: a worsening of the deficit by CFA431 billion in absolute terms and 21.4% in relative terms, compared to 2020. Expanding to natural gas, the deficit is CFA2,649 billion, a deterioration of CFA470 billion CFA francs in absolute value and 21.6% in relative value, compared to 2020,” the INS report said.

In 2021, Cameroon spent a total of CFA3,871.4 billion, on imports. The money was mainly used to purchase “mineral products, whose bill amounts to CFA832.6 billion (21.5% of total imports)”. These include fuels and lubricants (15.9% of imports) and chemicals (11.8%).

As for export revenues, they amounted to CFA2,392.7 billion, up 32.8% compared to 2020. This upward trend was mainly driven by the export earnings of the main products: crude oil (up 51.4% YoY, liquefied natural gas (+38.3%), etc.

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