Botswana's exports of rough diamonds produced at the major mines the country fell in the first half of 2017 by 8.6% compared to the same period a year earlier, and 25% compared to the second half of 2016, according to statistics from the Bank of Botswana. In total, the country exported rough diamonds valued at $1.65 billion during the most recent six month period, down from $1.81 billion in H1 2016 and $2.21 billion in H2 2016. First quarter sales during the year were strong, but tapered off in the second quarter, falling to only $105.9 million in June. The decline is directly related to rough sales by De Beers, whose value of sales were down due to higher demand for lower priced goods. This comes despite De Beers' Botswana operations, Debswana, seeing production increase by 14% in the half year to 5.9 million carats.
image: De Beers, Orapa diamond mine