In the first three months of 2022, world commodity prices for exports from the six CEMAC countries Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Gabon, CAR, and Equatorial Guinea increased by 12.2 percent overall.
According to the Bank of Central African States, the issuing institution of the CEMAC countries, which revealed this data in its new report on the Composite Commodity Price Index , this improvement is due to a “general increase in the prices of energy and non-energy products“, due to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
Indeed, explains the central bank, “the war between Russia and Ukraine has led to disruptions in supply channels, causing an increase in the main commodities,” among which is mainly crude oil. In fact, according to Beac analysts, CEMAC countries owe the rise in the price index of exported commodities to black gold.
Specifically, we learn that “the price of energy products rose by 18.2% in the first quarter of 2022, due to an increase in the price of a barrel of oil (23.4%) and natural gas (3%),” says the central bank. This oil-driven upturn may appear to be a boon for some CEMAC treasuries, a community space in which five of the six members are crude oil producers, and whose government revenues depend closely on income from the sale of black gold.
This optimistic view may be dampened by internal political choices. This is the case in Cameroon, where the rise in world oil prices has not led to a recovery in the public treasury. Indeed, the increase in oil revenues, which rise from FCFA 562 billion to FCFA 806 billion (+43.4%) in the rectifying finance law that parliamentarians are preparing to vote on, will be neutralized by the increase in the consumption subsidy for oil products.
Indeed, although they import finished petroleum products consumed locally, which imports have become expensive because of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, Cameroonian public authorities have decided to maintain unchanged the prices of petroleum products at the pump.
According to the Minister of Commerce, Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana, this decision will cost the Treasury a total subsidy (super, diesel, kerosene and domestic gas) of FCFA 672 billion in 2022. This is almost triple the FCFA244 billion in additional oil revenues contained in the amending finance law to be submitted to Parliament for approval during the ordinary session that opens on 7 June 2022.