Botswana posts sharp drop in 2012 diamond exports

Botswana posted a 28.7-percent drop on the year in diamond exports to US$3.1 billion in 2012 from US$4.15 billion in 2011, the central bank reported.

Rough diamond exports in December dropped sharply on the November figures – down 26.5 percent to US$266.1 million. However, the export figures were 34.6 percent higher than December 2011.

Botswana's national mining firm Debswana reduced diamond production during 2012 due to weaker demand for diamond jewelry around the world.

"Global uncertainties led to constrained demand for, and a decline in prices of diamonds in the global market," says Finance Minister, Kenneth Matambo.

"The domestic economy has undoubtedly experienced some depressing developments during 2012 ranging from declining output of the diamond sector, to a country-wide drought and damage caused by the recent floods, among others," he concludes.