Banana exports from Cameroon declined by 8% in 2020 despite resumption of operations by CDC

CAMEROON – Banana exports from Cameroon in 2020 amounted to 187,884 tons, an 8% decline from the previous year’s 204,320 tons.

According to the Banana Association of Cameroon (Assobacam), the 17,436 tons dip will result in revenue decline from 2019’s XAF 136 billion (US$250m).

The country’s leading exporter Plantations du Haut Penja (PHP), subsidiary of Compagnie fruitière de Marseille, saw its exports decline by 20, 6613 tons from 187, 423 tons attained the previous year to 166, 726 tons in 2020.

The same down trend performance was reflected by Boh Plantations. The agribusiness company exported only 14, 954 tons of banana against 16,897 tons of the same period in 2019. This shows a year-over-year drop of 11.5% i.e., 1,943 tons in its exports.

The period under review saw the input of Cameroon Development Corporation, the state-owned operator that resumed operations in June 2020 after months of inactivity.

However, its export of 6,168 tons of banana did not salvage the situation as the country still recorded an overall decline in exports reports, Business in Cameroon.

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Cameroonian banana exports decline by 17,436 tons in 2021

In a bid to revive one of the very first Cameroonian companies, the government revealed plans last year of injecting CFAF29bn (US$49.5m) in the relaunch of operations of CDC.

From the CFAF 29 billion (US$49.5m) financing, the corporation will utilize the bigger share CFAF14 billion (US$23.9m) in the banana sector and CFAF7 billion (US$11.9m) for the rubber, CFAF7 billion (US$11.9m) for oil palm and CFAF1 billion (US$1.7m) to finance salary arrears.

Other than banana, cocoa is also one of the country’s leading non-oil products export earners.

In the 2019-2020 season, the country produced and sold 257,151 tons of cocoa, a drop of 2.7% from the previous campaign period which attained 264,253 tons.

This was revealed by National Cocoa and Coffee Board (ONCC) who stated in a report that the country exported 197,537 tons of cocoa to 13 countries.

The 2019-2020 importers list featured new buyers i.e. South Korea, Albania, and Lebanon while the season’s export outgoers were the United States of America, Mexico, Canada, and France.

According to the ONCC, the top 5 destinations for Cameroonian cocoa during the campaign period were Holland (62.3% of overall cocoa exports), China (9.8%), Malaysia (8.2%), Indonesia (6.2%), and Germany (3.3%).

Commodities majors Cargill and Olam were the main buyers, accounting for 84% of purchases on the international market.

The regulator has not yet given a production forecast for the 2020/2021 season, which opened on Sept. 11.

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