Global demand for diamonds boosts Botswana revenues in the first half of 2011

With diamond prices soaring in the first half of this year, leading diamond producer posted record quarterly exports in the second quarter.

Exports in the second quarter of this year were 22 percent higher than the first three months of this year at $1.37 billion. First quarter exports had set the previous record quarterly figures.

In June alone, diamond exports came to $670.8 million, up almost 400 percent on the year, and 45 percent up on May.

Botswanan diamond exports for the first half of this year were $2.42 billion, according to the Bank of Botswana, and were 33 percent higher than the figure for the corresponding period of 2010.

The figure for the first six months of this year was just $440 million less than that for all of 2010 ($2.86 billion).

Kimberley Process statistics published last week showed Botswana was the leading producer in the world in financial terms with exports of $2.59 billion. Russia was the largest producer in volume terms, however, with 34.9 million carats while Botswana's output was 22 million carats.