Over the same period, the national trade balance has always been in deficit. The average deficit was CFAF 1,126.8 billion, after peaking at CFAF 1,187.4 billion in 2015. It fell by CFAF 98 billion, from CFAF 1,187 billion in 2014 to CFAF 1,089 billion in 2017. The imports in value of Cameroon have evolved saw-tooth, after reaching the peak of 3.745 billion FCFA in 2014.
They rose from CFAF 3,285 billion in 2013 to CFAF 2.971 billion in 2017. Spending on consumer products (fish, rice, sugar, wheat, etc.) represents on average almost 19% of total imports and 25% of non-hydrocarbon imports during the period under review. The total value of these food products increased from 754 billion FCFA in 2013 to 649 billion FCFA in 2017.
Five main products are concerned in the order of importance namely rice, frozen fish, wheat, milk and sugar. These products account for about 74% of food imports in 2017 compared to 67% in 2016. The import bill for these five food products increased from CFAF 522 billion in 2013 to about CFAF 478 billion in 2017. It remains important and weighs heavily on food imports. successive annual deficits.
By ensuring its food self-sufficiency, Cameroon can substantially increase its diversified exports composed of more and more processed products. It is also at this price that the country will be able to move away from the risk of over-indebtedness which is one of the scenarios of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This scenario is based on the trend deterioration in the ratio of public debt service to export earnings.