(Business in Cameroon) - Cameroon’s trade deficit worsened last year to XAF1,438.3 billion, an increase by 22.8% (XAF265.9 billion) compared to 2017.
According to the national Statistics Institute (INS), the widened deficit is linked to a year-on-year hike by 11.5% in import spending, added to a minor increase by 4.5% in export revenues. “Increased imports is due to higher purchase of fuel and lubricant whose bills grew 87.9% to XAF473.4 billion in 2018 from XAF251.9 billion in 2017. These products were purchased by the National Refining Company (Sonara) to supply the local market, in response to technical shutdown between April and November 2018,” INS says.
Excluding oil, Cameroon's trade deficit is more pronounced at XAF2127.8 billion. This reflects an increase by XAF422.2 billion (+24.8%) compared to the previous year. “This rise in the non-oil deficit is linked to a 3.0% decline in non-oil exports, followed by a 13.7% increase in non-oil imports.”