Central Africa’s exports shrink in Q1 2019—Central Bank
The Bank of Central African States, also known as Banque des Etats de I’Afrique Centrale (BEAC), this week said the prices of 28 commodities exported by the six states of the regional bloc (CEMAC) accounting for 90% of export values, declined by 6.2% during the first quarter of 2019.
The regional bloc consists of Cameroon, Gabon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, and Equatorial Guinea.
According to BEAC, the basket of commodities consists of energy, forestry, agricultural and fishing products, metals and minerals. It decreased compared to the fourth quarter of 2018, due to falling oil prices.
‘Despite the slight recovery in most non-energy product prices, the overall index was largely pulled down by natural gas prices and, to a lesser extent, crude oil prices,’ a statement released by the bank said.
The overall trend in commodity prices shows that in the first quarter of 2019, prices for energy products fell by around 8.2%. This was mitigated by a slight increase in the prices of most non-energy products, notably agricultural products (+ 2.7%), wood (+ 1.1%) and metals and minerals (+0.7%). 1%). As for fishing, it fell slightly by 0.2%.
Note that Cameroon is the largest economy in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community. The country’s economy features oil and gas, timber, aluminum, agriculture, mining and the service sector. Oil remains Cameroon’s main export commodity, and despite falling global oil prices, still accounts for nearly 40% of exports.