Botswana's diamond exports in Q1 recoveryBy XINHUA | Wednesday, May 2 2012 at 13:27
The revival of Botswana's diamond exports continued in March, with preliminary data indicating a month-on-month leap of 32 per cent to $389.2 million.
The March figure released by the Bank of Botswana (BoB) this week brings the value of diamond exports for the first quarter of 2012 to approximately $805.2 million.
At that level, the first quarter figures are marginally lower than the $832 million for the fourth quarter of 2011 but still represent the strengthening of diamond exports following a three-month slump that began last November.
In January, the height of the slump, diamond exports were measured at $108 million, as the key markets of the US and the Eurozone battled economic shocks that manifested themselves as weaker demand for the precious stones.
BoB's data indicate that the first quarter diamond export figures are comparable to the first quarter of 2008, the last of the "boom years" before the global recession in 2009.
The trend in exports also vindicates the optimism expressed by leading global diamond sector players on the direction of the industry in 2012, particularly with respect to rough diamond prices.
"The market for rough diamonds has continued to improve following the correction to prices in September 2011," Gem Diamonds, one of diamond miners in Botswana said in a recent statement.
"The Gem Diamonds Price Index has shown increases in every sale since this correction and is up some seven per cent in 2012.
Gem Diamonds anticipates rough prices across the market to continue increasing into the second quarter of 2012 and, despite the relatively thin volumes being traded in the polished market in high end goods, prices in these goods both in the polished wholesale market and high end branded auctions are expected to improve further."
De Beers Botswana CEO, Neo Moroka, recently told the local media that the demand for diamonds has been strong at the sights or auctions held by the Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTCB) since the beginning of the year.
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