Debswana posts 37.5% jump in 9-month diamond sales

Debswana is a major contributor to the national economy of Botswana, making up a fifth of the country’s GDP. (Image courtesy of Debswana.)

Rough diamonds sales by Debswana Diamond Company jumped 37.5% in the first nine months of 2022, statistics released by the Bank of Botswana showed Tuesday, driven by steady demand for jewellery.

A joint venture between Anglo American unit De Beers and Botswana government, Debswana sells 75% of its output to De Beers with the balance taken up by state-owned Okavango Diamond Company.

Debswana’s January-September sales rose to $3.578 billion from $2.602 billion a year earlier, data from the central bank showed.

In Botswana’s pula currency, Debswana’s rough diamond sales rose 52.5% to 43.237 billion pula reflecting a stronger dollar in the period.

In dollar and pula terms, the nine-month sales top the company’s full-year results in 2021 when sales totalled $3.466 billion and 38.134 billion pula.

Debswana accounts for almost all diamonds produced in Botswana with Lucara’s Karowe mine being the only other operating diamond mine in the country.

Botswana generates about 30% of its revenue and 70% of its foreign exchange earnings from diamonds.

However, De Beers sees the risk of the market slowing down in the coming months due to a deterioration in global economic conditions, reduced consumer spending and continued Chinese covid-19 lockdowns.

“In line with normal seasonal trends, we anticipate that sales in the final quarter of the year will be affected by the normal temporary closure of cutting and polishing factories for the religious holidays in India,” parent firm Anglo American said last week.

(By Brian Benza; Editing by Bhargav Acharya and Jason Neely)

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