(Business in Cameroon) - Cameroonian exporters shipped goods to 128 countries overall last year, according to a report recently published by the national institute of statistics. However, 62% of the exports went to only five countries, the report revealed.
China came first with 25.8% of the total export volume for CFA618.4 billion. The Netherlands (12.4%, or CFA297.7 billion); India (9.6%, or CFA230.9 billion); Italy (7.1%, or CFA171 billion); and Spain (6.1%, or CFA145.9 billion) followed, respectively.
INS indicated in its report that 85% of Cameroon's exports to China during the period under review consisted of hydrocarbons, namely crude oil (66%) and natural gas (19%); crude wood (10%) and sawn wood (3%). "These four products account for 98% of exports to China in 2021," said the INS.
Also, the report says, "five products account for nearly 99% of exports from Cameroon" to the Netherlands, its 2nd largest customer in the world. 72% of these exports are made up of cocoa and byproducts (butter and paste). To India, 98% of Cameroon's exports are petroleum products, including crude oil (75%) and liquefied natural gas (23%).
Trade with African countries is weak
INS experts pointed out that trade between Cameroon and the rest of Africa remains fairly low. Over the period under review, shipments of goods from Cameroon to African countries represent only 9.7% of total export earnings, including 7.3% to CEMAC countries and 0.8% to Nigeria.
As a reminder, Cameroon's trade deficit worsened in 2021 reaching CFA1,478 billion, compared to CFA1,375 billion in 2020. This represents an increase of CFA103 billion (+7.5%) over one year. "This deterioration is the result of an increase in import expenditure of CFA693 billion, or 21.8%, which is much higher than the increase in export revenue, which stands at CFA591 billion, or 32.8%, compared to 2020. This upward trend in both exports and imports would mark a recovery in foreign trade, which was disrupted in 2020 due to Covid-19," explains the INS.
Brice R. Mbodiam