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Wheat flour : Russia-Ukraine crisis raises fears of additional production costs in Cameroon

Flour production

Russia’s invasion in Ukrain leading to severe economic sanctions affects Cameroon as Russia is the core flour supplier.

On February 24, 2022, just after Russia began bombing Ukraine, the price of a ton of wheat reached an unprecedented €344 euros (more than XAF225,000) on Euronext Commodity Derivatives Market. This price has fallen back to around €320 (nearly XAF210,000) in recent days for wheat’s future contracts expiring in March 2022.

However, the situation is still concerning, and Cameroonian millers, whose business is largely dependent on wheat imported from Russia, are keeping a close watch.

The supply difficulties they could face because of the war between Russia and Ukraine (respectively 1st and 5th world wheat producers), Cameroonian millers are already fearing the additional costs they may have to bear in the production of wheat flour. 

Those additional costs would be way higher if the current Russia-Ukraine crisis leads to a new increase in shipping costs in a context where the Cameroonian government is slowing down the planned increase in the prices of wheat flour and bread, which is one of the most consumed products in the country.

Meanwhile , in 2020, Cameroon imported 860,000 tons of wheat, spending XAF150 billion. According to a study published on August 25, 2021, by the country’s enterprises upgrading office BMN on the strategic positioning of the cereal processing and by-products sector,  close to 300,000 tons of that commodity was imported from Russia (i.e., 35% of the total volume), which is so far Cameroon’s leading wheat supplier. 

The Government has not yet taken a stand regarding this situation but indigenes suggest wheat flour be replace by potatoes flour, cassava or corn as it was back in the days.

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