(Business in Cameroon) - The drop in activity recorded in the forestry sector in 2019 (-2.4% year-over-year) would worsen further in 2020 (-6.4%), according to a report on the economic outlooks published, last June, by the Ministry in charge of the Economy (Minepat).
Indeed, the Minepat explained this decline would be spurred by the global economy affected by the coronavirus health crisis that is likely to last throughout the year. According to Minepat, the slowdown in activity in this sector in 2019 can be explained by a drop in log exports to China and the European Union (EU), which are the main buyers.
Cameroon's log exports to the EU stood at 15,000 tons, a 14% drop compared to 2018. As for Cameroon's log exports to China, they fell by 21% in the first half of 2019. The same trend will, therefore, continue in 2020.
According to the International Tropical Timber Organization, this reduction in Chinese demand for Cameroonian logs can be explained by the trade war between China and the United States, the volatility of the Yuan, the strengthening of environmental inspections, and the drop in domestic demand.