Stable demand for Botswana’s rough diamonds resulted in flat exports in the first quarter of 2018, according to recent data.
Outbound shipments for the January-to-March period slid less than 1% to $911 million, from $912.6 million last year, the Bank of Botswana said.
In January, rough exports totaled $339.7 million, while shipments for February came to $229 million, and March results were $342.3 million.
“Diamond sales in the first quarter of 2018 are firmly in line with the same period last year, suggesting demand is still firm in the main markets — the US, China and India,” according to S&P Global Ratings, which assesses countries’ economic potential.
Botswana’s economy is largely dependent on its rough-diamond trade. S&P maintained its current credit rating and its “stable” outlook for the African nation in an update last week, citing steady diamond demand.
“The stable outlook reflects our view that production levels in Botswana’s diamond sector will remain relatively robust, which will in turn support government and export revenues and economic growth over the next 12 to 24 months,” S&P said.
S&P predicted Botswana’s economy would grow 3.5% in real terms — taking into account inflation — in 2018 due to stable demand for diamonds and its expectations of strong production.