Diamonds shine brighter

Kabelo Adamson
ON THE RISE: Diamond industry exports increase

Recovery in diamond industry leads to surge in exports

The recovery of the diamond industry has seen the country experience an upsurge in exports, according to the latest figures from the government data collecting agency, Statistics Botswana.

The International Merchandise Trade Statistics (IMTS) for the month of December show that the value of the exports from Botswana stood at P7.1 billion, a 6.7 percent increase from the November value of P6.7 billion.

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The increase is attributed largely to the rise in diamond exports, by 12.7 percent (P733.6 million) from the November 2021 value of P5.8 billion to P6.3 billion.

During the month under review, diamonds, as expected, continued to dominate export commodities, accounting for 91.6 percent or P6.5 billion of total exports.

Diamonds were followed by another mineral, copper at 2.2 percent or P153.4 million of total exports as copper mines gradually spring to life such as Khoemacau Copper Mine in the North West of the country.

Export of live cattle followed,, accounting for 1.1 percent of total exports during the month of December.

By destination, most of Botswana’s exports were destined to the Asian continent which received goods valued at P4.5 billion or 62.9 percent of the country’s total exports.

These exports were mainly destined to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and India, which got 23.5 percent (P1.7 billion) and 14.5 percent (P1 billion) of total exports, respectively.

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Minerals, diamonds and copper were the major commodity groups exported to Asia during the current period.

The European Union (EU) bloc, meanwhile, received goods amounting to P1.5 billion or 21.6 percent of total exports for December with Belgium receiving most of these goods which were mostly diamonds.

The Southern African Customs Union (SACU) proved to be a minor trading partner as the regional bloc received exports valued at just P622.6 million or 8.7 percent of total exports.

Diamonds; live cattle and machinery and electrical equipment accounted for 51.8 percent (P322.5 million), 12.3 percent (P76.8 million) and 8.7 percent (P53.9 million) of total exports to the customs union.

While the value of exports rose in December, the value of Botswana’s imports during the month declined by 24.7 percent to P6.4 billion from the November value of P8.5 billion.

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During the month, diamonds; fuel; food, beverages and tobacco, Chemicals and rubber products and machinery and electrical equipment were the leading import commodity groups.

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