Rubber, Cocoa, Coffee Show Poor Performance in Liberia’s Economy, CBL Reports

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Major agriculture products in the country are reported to have performed poorly within the Liberia’s economy, Central Bank of Liberia asserts.

The performance of the agriculture sector was mixed, except for sawn timber, which showed an upward movement and coffee, which was produced, rubber, cocoa and ground logs declined during the first quarter of 2014 compared with the preceding quarter a year ago.

According to CBL 2014 Financial and Economic Bulletin, rubber output during the quarter was 14,584 metric tons, down from 17,950 metric tons recorded at the end of December, 2013; reflecting a decline of 18.8 percent.

The CBL statement noted that the reduction was mainly attributed to the fall in the world market price of the commodity during the quarter.

The statement further that rubber production increased by 43.8 percent or 4,445 metric tons compares with the corresponding quarter of 2013.

Cocoa & Coffee

Output of cocoa beans at the end of March, 2014 declined by 32.6 percent to 2,012 metric tons, from 2,987 metric tons reported in the preceding quarter. The fall in output was mainly due to the slump in the global price of the commodity. The statement further that the output in the same period of 2012, cocoa production increased by 418 metric tons, representing 26.2 percent growth.

The CBL’s statement further disclosed that data on coffee production was not available for the review and preceding quarters.

Sawn Timber

Output of sawn timber at the end of March, 2014 was estimated at 120,722 pieces, up from 111,926 pieces; reflecting an increase of 8,796 pieces or 7.9 percent when matched against production of the previous quarter.

The rise was mainly due to improvements in local demand for the commodity.

Year-on-year comparison shows that current production rose by 19,761 pieces above the 100,961 pieces produced during the corresponding quarter.

Round Logs

Total production of round logs at end-March, was 11,191 cubic meters, down from 13,471 cubic meters recorded during the preceding quarter.

The 16.9 percent decline was largely attributed to the ongoing moratorium on Private User Permits (PUP) imposed by the Government of Liberia and corresponding quarter analysis could not be done due to data unavailability, statement quoted.

Gold

Gold production at the end of March, 2014 was 4,059 ounces, down from 4,178 ounces recorded in the previous quarter, reflecting a decline of 2.8 percent. The fall was largely due to slowdown in global market price of the product. On an annualized basis, the production of gold also declined by 25.4 percent, from the 5,442 ounces mined at end-March 2013.

Diamond

The production of diamond during the quarter recorded an increase of 3,556 carats to 17,623 carats, compared with 14,067 carats produced during the previous quarter. The rise was driven by growing alluvial mining activities due to dry season that provided easy access to diamond pits and an increase in the number of diamond fields. On a year-on-year basis, basis, diamond production during the review quarter also increased by 6,217 carats or 54.5 percent.

Meanwhile, iron ore production at the end of March, 2014, totaled 1,440,430 metric tons, reflecting a quarterly decline of 3.1 percent, when matched against the output of the previous quarter.

The slowdown was mainly on account of slump in the global market price of the commodity. When measure against the corresponding quarter of 2013, iron ore output in the current quarter increased by 262,930 metric tons of 22.3 percent.

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