Botswana Diamond sales have been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic that has seen sales volume dropping by two thirds, Reuters reports. This according to the publication was caused by low demand which was also exacerbated by travel restrictions which grounded many operations.
Statistics published by the publication show a worrisome trend as Bostwana’s borders remain closed since March 2020 as a COVID-19 containment measure. Reuters reported that:
Exports of diamonds from Debswana, a joint venture between Botswana and diamond mining giant De Beers, a unit of Anglo American, stood at $293 million in the second quarter of 2020, from $916 million in the preceding period.
No exports were recorded in May, while only $20 million worth of diamonds were exported in June, the Bank of Botswana’s data showed.
De Beers, which gets about 70% of its supply from Botswana registered a net loss of $214 million in the first half of the year, as rough sales plunged by more than half to $1 billion, the company said in its results last week.
Diamonds exports reportedly constitute 70% of the Southern African nation and if restrictions stay in place for long, Botswana’s balance of payment deficit might suffer a huge blow.