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Cameroon Imports 3 Times What It Exports 

By Joe Dinga Pefok

Statistics contained in document released by the Port Authority of Douala, PAD, indicates that Cameroon imports almost triple the quantity of products it exports.

The document comes to confirm the analysis that Cameroon’s balance of trade has constantly been negative for several years especially under the Biya regime.
According to the analysis, Cameroon remains a dumping ground rather than a producer, with timber being its biggest export product.

The PAD statistics on the traffic at the port for the past two years- 2013 and 2014 – show that in 2013,Douala Port handled 7,864,767 tons of imports as against 2,639,905 tons of exports; giving a grand total of 10,504,668 tons of imports and exports handled by the Douala Port in that year.

In 2014, the port handled 8,129,005 tons of imports as against 2,663,712 tons of exports, giving a grand total of 10,790,717 tons.

PAD says the Douala Port currently has a capacity to handle 15,000,000 tons of import/export per annum.
As for the total traffic handled by the Douala, Limbe and Kribi Ports in 2013, it amounted to 7,889,355 tons of import, and 2,699,273 tons of exports, putting the total at 10,598,628 tons. In 2014, the three ports handled 8,154,068 tons of import and 2,713,620 tons of export – 10,867,688 tons.

A categorization of imported items that were handled by the Douala Port in 2013 and 2014, indicate that Cameroon imports large quantities of edible items and drinks. Briefly, in 2013,hydrocarbons – 1,283,223 tons; edible products/drinks – 2,270,012 tons; metals/ building and construction materials/engines – 2,389,872 tons; chemical/pharmaceutical products – 388,779 tons; minerals/primary products – 1,202,104 tons; diverse manufactured products – 165,398 tons; other Imported products – 165,275 tons. Total imported products for 2013: 7,864,763 tons.

The 2014 imports stand as follows: hydrocarbons – 1,371,389 tons; edible products/drinks – 2,178,666 tons; chemical/pharmaceutical products – 396,253 tons; metals/building and construction materials/engines – 2,390,912 tons; minerals/primary products – 1,443,426 tons; diverse manufactured products – 193,277 tons; other imported products– 154,084 tons. Total imported products: 10,791,719 tons.

Exported items through the Douala Port in 2013 and 2014were topped by timber. Exported items for 2013 stand as follows: wood (timber) 1,746,841 tons; aluminum – 37,242 tons; agricultural products – 671,934 tons; industrial products – 58,488 tons; edible products/drinks – 94,140 tons; scrap (metals) – 1, 847 tons; other exported products – 29,412 tons; total – 2,693,905 tons.

Exported products for 2014: wood –1,808,111 tons; aluminum – 52,326 tons; agricultural products – 651,551 tons; industrial products – 57,566 tons; edible products/drinks – 76,390 tons; scrap (metals) -1,544 tons; other exported products – 16,324 tons: total – 2,663,712 tons.

Cameroon’s low level of export trade as the 2013 statistics indicate dropped even lower in 2014.As compared to 2013, increases were only registered in 2014 in the export of wood and aluminum.
There was a drop in all the other categories of export products.

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