The Bank of Botswana released figures indicating that the country’ sales of both rough and polished diamonds have defied expectations and risen significantly after recording a poorer sales performance in the last quarter of the previous fiscal year, the Botswanan journal Mmegi reported.
According to the data, Botswana’s exports of rough and polished diamonds recovered from a four-month slump in February 2012 and reached $293 million, which amounted to 165% of the November 2011 sales figures, 189% of the December 2011 sales figures, and almost 300% of the January 2012 sales figures. This year’s levels were also 35% higher than sales for the same month one year ago.
Reduced demand from the United States and Europe resulted in fewer diamond exports by Botswana in the fourth quarter of 2011, even contributing to shrinkage of the country’s Gross Domestic Product for the quarter. The new numbers are one indicator that diamond prices could make a strong showing in 2012, according to Mmegi.
De Beers Botswana CEO Neo Moroka said he believed that diamond prices would rise in 2012 on account of increasing demand from the Chinese market.