The economic crisis: The growth of demand paused slightly at end 2008 – early 2009 because of the financial crisis which affected the whole of the worldwide economy. On the coffee market, this crisis had a negative impact on the level of consumption of gourmet coffees in certain traditional markets (the United States), and a deceleration of growth in certain new markets (Eastern Europe). But in general, the specialists in the market estimate that demand remains strong, and that the growth rate of the worldwide coffee consumption will be maintained at approximately 1% per annum (instead of the 2% envisaged before the financial crisis).
Strong increase of production in Vietnam over approximately the last 20 years, and the production in Brazil, which in 2010 could reach 55 to 60 million bags, may result in prospects which, in the short term, do not seem very favourable for the markets. But it should be noted that in these 3 last years the prices on the Futures markets remained above cost price for an efficient producer. All producing countries face the same problems and have the same challenges.
In this context, it is important to keep an eye on the competitiveness of production in Cameroon compared to competitor producing countries, in particular Brazil and Vietnam. In these countries, the strong productivity of plantations makes the coffee very competitive. Moreover, the countries where production is increasing are those where the producers receive between 80 and 90% of the FOB price of the product. Sustainability of the revival of production will be the main issue for a high-performing sector.
At the time of the World Coffee conference in Brazil in 2005, global demand for coffee had been projected for 2015 at between 145 and 150 million bags (NKG). The improvement of productivity in Cameroon can benefit from this increase in demand, and at the same time, contribute at the internal level to reach the first Millennium goal set by the United Nations, namely the reduction of poverty.