Coronavirus: Botswana's Diamond Sales Down 64 per centAugust 12, 20
(IDEX Online) - Botswana, the world's top diamond-producing country by value, saw Q2 sales fall by almost two-thirds because of coronavirus.
Pandemic-related travel bans and reduced outputs resulted in sales of just $294m, down 64 per cent from $807m for the same period in 2019, according to Bank of Botswana data.
First quarter sales for 2020, before the full impact of the pandemic was felt, were $917m.
There were no diamond exports at all in May, and only $20m in June, according to the bank's data.
Debswana Diamond Company, the joint venture between the government of Botswana and De Beers that produces most of the country's diamonds, has indicated that 2020 output will be substantially less than original 23m carat forecast.
Botswana depends heavily on its diamond wealth, and diamonds account for 70 per cent of its exports. It boasts two of the world's biggest diamond mines - Jwaneng and Orapa - and hosts the De Beers Sights in its capital Gabarone.
But it seeking $3.4bn from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to over the next 30 months to revive the ailing economy and cover expected budget deficits