Botswana February Diamond Exports +29% Over 2015, Down From January

Economy
10/05/2016 11:26

Statistics Botswana reports that Botswana's overall diamond exports rose 29% in February year-on-year compared to 2015, yet its exports worth $493M fell more than 10% from January when it exported more than $550M. Meanwhile, diamond imports fell nearly 21% in February 2016 to $220M compared to $277M in 2015, though they spiked more than 60% over January imports. Statistics Botswana said this increase was due to high value of diamond imports for aggregation. As part of the 2011 agreement between De Beers and government, diamonds mined at the company’s mines outside of the country are brought to Botswana where they are aggregated and sold to sightholders. These imports were mainly from Canada, Namibia and South Africa. Some of these include diamonds that were originally bought from Botswana and were now being sold back to Botswana.

Diamonds are good for more than 85% of Botswana's total exports, totalling $493M in February. Belgium is Botswana's leading trade partner for diamond exports, receiving 24%, or nearly $117M of Botswana's February exports. Belgium is followed by Namibia (17.4%), South Africa (13.4%), India (12%) and Canada (10%). Surprisingly, Singapore (6.8%) in February overtook Israel (6.5%) as a destination for Botswana diamonds, receiving $33.5M of the precious stones. The diamond trade hub in Dubai received only 3% of Botswana's exports in February.