“Prices are driven by the Forces of Demand and Supply”

Nloga Polycarpe, fisherman

Can you evaluate the market trend? There is much of this species of  shrimps known in the French  language as ‘gambas’ in the  waters. Fishermen who dare  the deep see have a  good catch which  is then sold in  the Youpwe  seaside market where  scores of  buyers brave  the early  morning  darkness to  get a bit of  the delicacy.  The Youpwe  market  known as the hub of fresh fish  in Douala including shrimps, is  always as busy as a bee heave  between  4am  when  fishermen return from fishing and  5:30am when transactions ends.  Those who buy to retail  and those who buy  for restaurant and  hotel businesses  often placed  orders before  the catch while  those who did  not inform the  fishermen beforehand especially  households are  obliged to buy what  is left. In all the  creatures fished for the day, gambas is highly solicited since it is  considered prestigious.  To what factors would you  attribute the rise in prices?  Shrimps is not as expensive  as before. I can say we are  moving towards the period  of abundance. The prices of  shrimps are driven by the forces  of demand and supply. As at  June 9, a kilogramme sells at  FCFA 5,000. Before now the  species of shrimps was more  expensive and sold at FCFA  8,000. Way back in 2005 a kilogramme was about 17,000  since very few migrated from  the western world and where  discovered in the country, though  people did not have the habit  of eating shrimps, those who  knew it bought for high prices.  It is later that people began  liking the shrimps that used  to be eaten only by foreigners  and few nationals. The retail  prices are high especially in  super markets where a kilogram sell at times for over FCFA  10,000. In restaurants, a plate  of about 10 medium-sized barbecued shrimps sells at FCFA  5,000 while it cost even more  in hotels.  Is there hope for every  households whose menu  include shrimps? Yes. Shrimps is becoming cheaper. Before, it was bought for  up to FCFA 17,000 but since  began migrating much in the  Cameroon waters, it has cost  at most 8,000 in the Youpwe  market and at most FCFA 12,000  in other market places. There  are equally periods of abundance like between June and  December that a kilogram of  smaller sizers might cost between  FCFA 2,500 and FCFA 3,000.  The delicacy is more expensive  between the month of January  and March.

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