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Botswana diamond exports plunged in August

12 october 2012

Botswana’s rough and polished diamond exports eased 81.9 percent year-on-year in August to $95.9 million, figures released by the country’s central bank show.
Analysts say this was the lowest level of diamond exports for the southern African country since August 2009, when the industry was ravaged by the global economic recession.
The Bank of Botswana’s data also showed that exports eased by 63.2 percent during the period under scrutiny compared to last July.
Botswana, the central bank said, shipped $2.34 billion worth of rough and polished diamonds in the first eight months of 2012.
Diamonds were Botswana’s economic fulcrum although calls to diversify the economy had reached a crescendo.
The country produced 24 million carats last year as Debswana capped production to match weakening market conditions.
Botswana used to produce as high as 34 million carats.

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished