Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 04/15/2014 -- Investment continues to pour into Cameroon's cocoa industry with the latest announcement of an expansion of domestic processing capacity suggesting an ambition to add value to this key agribusiness export. The government is also hoping to spark a recovery in the coffee segment after several difficult years for the country's growers; low prices will make this a challenging endeavour as farmers turn to more reliably profitable food crops. We continue to expect strong increases in demand and supply of corn although the former will begin to outstrip the latter, leading to an increase in imports.
- Corn consumption growth to 2018: 42.4% to 2.2mn tonnes. Rising incomes and a growing population will see increased demand for the staple grain.
- Cocoa production growth to 2017/18: 45.4% to 327,000 tonnes. Higher prices and increased government and private investment will drive the sector forwards.
- BMI universe agribusiness market value growth: 5.7% to US$1.30bn in 2014 (up from US$1.23bn in 2013; forecast to grow by an annual average rate of 7.6% to 2018).
- 2014 real GDP growth: 5.3% (up from an estimated 4.9% in 2013; forecast to grow by an annual average rate of 5.1% between 2014 and 2018).
- 2014 consumer price inflation: 2.6% year-on-year (2.5% in 2013; forecast to average 2.5% between 2014 and 2018).
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Key Revisions To Forecasts
- Long-term coffee production forecast revised down to 469,000 60kg bags in 2017/18 (from a previous forecast of 816,000 60kg bags). New historic data shows production fell sharply in 2011/12. We expect the recovery to be relatively slow as prices will remain low.
The Cameroonian cocoa processing industry is expanding thanks to public-private investment initiatives. In 2014 Fapam Sarl, an industrial unit based in Mbalmayo in the Centre region of Cameroon, will commence operations and begin processing 16,000 tonnes of cocoa butter beans and cocoa powder. The new facility is a product of the Cameroon government's Agropole project led by the Ministry of Finance and a local businessman, Anatole Nkodo Ze, Construction of the plant cost XAF4.6bn (US$9.6mn) with the government investing XAF1.4bn (US$3.0mn). This should bring domestic processing capacity up to around 50,000 tonnes and allow Cameroon to cater to increasing local demand for cocoa products.
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