Cameroon spent CFAF45.7bln on fish imports in 2021 0

Cameroon spent CFAF45.7 billion on fish imports in 2021, according to the 2021 sectoral note on the animal industry and fisheries sub-segment published by the stats institute INS. That year, fourteen countries supplied 60,554 tons of frozen fish to Cameroon but, there were three main suppliers, the Netherlands, Uruguay, and Mauritania notably. They accounted for over 70% of Cameroon’s fish imports during the said period.

The Netherlands was the leading supplier, accounting for almost 24,500 tons of fish valued at just over CFAF22.8 billion. It was followed by Uruguay, the Latin American country that signed a framework agreement with Cameroon, in 2022, to intensify cooperation -that framework was submitted to be reviewed by President Paul Biya in June 2023.  The country supplied Cameroon with over 12,000 tons of fish, worth more than CFAF4 billion.

During the period under review, Mauritania supplied the Cameroonian market with 7,237 tons of fish, valued at a little over CFAF7.5 billion.  Two other African countries closed the top5 of Cameroon’s fish suppliers in 2021. These are Angola (6,802 tons for CFAF3.1 billion spent) and Senegal (2,393 tons for just over CFAF1.5 billion).

Although China has become Cameroon’s leading trade partner in recent years, it was the 10th largest supplier of frozen fish in 2021. According to INS data, it exported only 573 tons of fish to Cameroon behind India (1,555 tons), Spain (1,478 tons), Morocco (1,163 tons), Argentina (998 tons), and even Russia (881 tons).

Officials have noted that frozen fish, along with rice, significantly impact Cameroon’s trade balance despite its approximately 400 kilometers of coastline renowned for its fish stock. Unfortunately, this coastline is mainly exploited by foreign fishermen who supply the commercial circuits of their home countries.

Source: Business in Cameroon