Namibia’s diamond mining sector is forecasted to decline by 14.9% in real terms during 2020 due to the anticipated fall in demand, compounded by interruption in logistics for holding sales auctions due to travel restrictions and lockdowns around the world, according to the central bank.
The projected contraction of 14.9% for 2020 is a downward revision from a growth of 5.3% projected last February.
“Diamonds constitute one of the luxury items and people are expected to shift from the consumption of luxury goods and services and rather focus on fighting COVID-19 by purchasing medical supplies and dietary foods to boost their health,” it said in an economic outlook.
“In addition, with travel restrictions, lockdowns and prevention of large gatherings of people mean that prospective buyers cannot attend auctions to view and purchase diamonds.”
However, the Bank of Namibia said the diamond sector was expected to register a growth of 4.5 percent in 2021.
De Beers recently reported that its Namibian diamond unit, Namdeb Holdings, registered a 6% production jump to 500,000 carats during the first quarter of the year due to planned higher grade at the marine operations.
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