Cameroon buys a lot from Russia and Ukraine but sells them almost “nothing” (report)

Business in Cameroon | Cameroon’s National Institute of Statistics (INS) recently published a report on trade between the country and Russia and Ukraine. According to the institution, Cameroon is not benefiting from its trade relations with these two countries.

“In trade relations with Russia and Ukraine, Cameroon is a net importer. Exports from Cameroon to these two countries are very low and almost insignificant in value. In 2020, Russia absorbed only 0.04% of Cameroon’s overall exports while Ukraine received almost nothing,” INS said. At the same time, both Russia and Ukraine, whose current conflict is already being felt on the local market (recent increase in the price of wheat flour and bread, ed), are important suppliers of raw materials and inputs to Cameroon. Over the 2010-20 decade, the INS report reveals, Russian exports to Cameroon grew steadily from CFA11.5 billion to CFA96.6 billion. But Cameroonian exports to Russia dropped from CFA2 billion to CFA118 million over the same period.

From Russia, Cameroon mainly buys wheat, which accounts for 65% of the country’s total imports. INS reported that Russia is Cameroon’s leading wheat supplier. Next come fertilizers, which account for 17% of Cameroon’s imports from Russia (Cameroon’s leading fertilizer supplier with 43% of the market share, compared with 11% for China); then hydrocarbons (8% of imports) and iron, cast iron, and steel products (4%).

This very dynamic trade on the Russian side makes the country the 8th supplier of Cameroon in 2020, with 3% of the market share. Other suppliers are China (17.5%), France (8.5%), Belgium (5.6%), India (5%), and the United States (4.4%).

From Ukraine, Cameroon mainly buys iron, cast iron, and steel products. The country is Cameroon’s leading iron supplier with 35% of the market share. In 2020, the African country spent CFA60.9 billion to buy iron and steel products from Ukraine. Other suppliers are China (26% of market share), Turkey (18%), and Saint-Barthélemy Island (11%), INS reported.

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