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Foreign trade: Imports outstrip exports by CFAF 166.9 billion in the first quarter of 2023

In relative terms, the overall volume of imports rose by 13.8% during the first three months of this year, compared with the same period in 2022. Similarly, overall exports recorded an 8.2% increase in volume compared with the first quarter of 2022.

(EcoFinances) – During the first quarter of 2023, Cameroon’s imports outstripped exports by more than CFAF 160 billion, according to the quarterly national accounts made public by the NSI (National Statistics Institution) on 06 September 2023. Imports peaked at CFAF 1,500.7 billion during the first 03 months of the current financial year, compared with CFAF 1,333.8 billion for exports.

Compared with the same period in 2022 and 2021, the country’s imports have generally remained on a more or less upward curve (1452.6 billion in the first quarter of 2021 and 1436.3 billion in the first quarter of 2022). The same applies to exports (1193.7 billion in Q1 2021 and 1232.8 billion in Q1 2022), although imports remain dominant as usual.

In relative terms, the overall volume of imports fell by 13.8% during the first three months of this year, compared with the same period in 2022. Similarly, overall exports are up by 8.2% in volume terms compared with the first quarter of 2022.

While the public body responsible for producing statistical data does not insist on the strong dominance of imports in the country’s trade balance in the first quarter of 2023, for obvious reasons (extroversion of the economy, lack of aggressiveness in the country’s export policy), it does explain why imports rose significantly in the first quarter of 2023.

With regard to imports, it indicates that their considerable rise is the result of an explosion in the level of imports of goods, which rose by 17.6%, against a virtual stagnation in imports of services (1.1%). This, while the rise in the overall level of exports in volume terms is the result of a moderate increase in exports of goods (3.9%) and an explosion in exports of services (24.6%).

« As a result, overall exports contributed 1.4 points to GDP growth (…). The increase in the level of exports of goods was mainly driven by exports of manufactured products, including products of agricultural processing and other manufactured products », the NSI points out.

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