Botswana diamond exports increase to $5 billion

Botswana exported almost $5 billion in diamonds in 2012 for a 19.5% increase over the previous year, according to figures released by its government, as reported by IDEX.

Diamond exports — which make up 63% of the country's total principal goods shipped out —  include rough rocks, polished gemstones and goods brought in to be sorted by De Beers.

The country's gross exports of rough diamonds climbed to almost $4 billion, a 20% increase for the year, and polished grew to $692.6 million, up 11%.

Gross rough imports rose to $2 billion — almost three times as much over the last year — with net rough exports at $1.86 billion.

The increases for imports and exports are due in part to the Diamond Trading Company, De Beers distribution arm for rough gemstones, moving to a new sorting centre in Gaborone, Botswana where it is shipping all its product from around the world.

Image courtesy De Beers