Botswana 3Q Rough Exports -41%

Gaborone: Exports of rough diamonds from mines in Botswana fell 41 percent to $531.9 million in the third quarter to September, mirroring disappointing sales at recent De Beers sights.

July exports from Botswanan mines were zero, while September exports were low at $173.4 million, according to the Bank of Botswana. The August figure was higher at $358.5 million. Exports for the nine months to September were down 23 percent to $2.3 billion.

Most of the exports are from Debswana, a joint venture between the Botswana government and De Beers. Production from Debswana, which accounts for the vast majority of De Beers’ overall output, dropped 35 percent to 4.074 million carats in the third quarter of 2015.

De Beers produced 27 percent less in carats globally in the third quarter compared with last year and cut output in response to trading conditions, its parent Anglo American said in a statement October 22.

De Beers sightholders refused about half of their allocated supply of rough diamonds in the October sight and has given customers at the November sale the opportunity to defer their allocations until December in reaction to the weak conditions affecting manufacturers.

Debswana’s production for the first nine months of 2015 fell 15 percent to 15.6 million carats, De Beers said. De Beers’ overall production for the period fell 11 percent to 21.64 million carats. The company also lowered its full-year production guidance in August to between 29 and 31 million carats and said October 22 that output would likely be at the lower end of that estimate.