Botswana Rough Diamond Sales Fall Due to Coronavirus Travel Ban

Sales of rough diamonds from Botswana dropped 64% from a year ago due to a travel ban and production crunch linked to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sales declined to $294 million in the second quarter of the year, from $807 million a year ago and $917 million in the first quarter, according to data published by the Bank of Botswana.

Botswana closed all its borders to travelers in March, restricting buyers’ ability to examine rough diamonds available for sale.

Debswana, the main producer of rough diamonds in the southern African country, is trimming output this year to match flagging global demand. While officials have declined to give exact estimates, they have said production will be well below the original target of 23 million carats.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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