Netherlands remains Cameroon’s top customer in 2023 despite market share drop

Business in Cameroon | The Netherlands remained Cameroon’s top customer in 2023 for the second consecutive year, according to the latest report on Cameroon’s foreign trade published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) on May 8. The country imported goods worth CFA693.7 billion from Cameroon in 2023, compared to CFA932.1 billion in 2022, marking a decrease of 25.6%.

However, this decline did not significantly impact the Netherlands’ market share, which dropped from 26.8% to 23.2%, a decrease of only 3.6%. This situation can be explained by the overall drop in Cameroon’s exports, which fell by 14.2% to CFA2,988.6 billion over the period.

According to the INS, the main products exported from Cameroon to the Netherlands in 2023 include crude petroleum oils (58.6%), raw cocoa beans (32.1%), cocoa paste (4.3%), and crude aluminum (3.0%). These products together accounted for 97.9% of exports to this European country.

While the Netherlands’ market share declined, France gained ground, moving from third to second place as Cameroon’s export destination, with a merchandise volume reaching CFA369.1 billion. This represents 12.3% of market share. China, which had dropped to sixth place in 2022, climbed back to fourth place, capturing 7.8% of market share with products valued at CFA231.9 billion.

Cameroon’s exports to France are mainly composed of liquefied natural gas (47.6%), crude petroleum oils (23.6%), cocoa butter (7.0%), fuels and lubricants (6.1%), crude aluminum (3.2%), and cocoa paste (3.2%). These products account for 93.1% of exports to France. Also, exports to China are dominated by cocoa waste (38.1%), fuels and lubricants (28.8%), equipment and accessories (9.2%), unsorted diamonds (8.9%), various cola nuts (4.3%), and various fresh vegetables (1.3%), together forming 90.6% of exports to this country.

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