This page has been archived and commenting is disabled.

Cocaine Production Drops To Fresh 21st Century Low

Tyler Durden's picture


Those always on the lookout for alternative indicators of economic activity may be in luck.

Earlier this week, the Office of the National Drug Control Policy released its annual survey of Cocaine production in the Andean region, or the three main Latin American countries where the powdery substance is sourced - Colombia, Peru and Bolivia. The results were disappointing, if only for wannabe drug lords. At a total of 620 metric tons of total potential pure cocaine production, 2012 blow production dropped 10% from 2011 and 41% from the 1055 metric ton record hit in 2001. However, the drop was mostly a function of Colombian production: the one time cocaine capital of the world has seen its potential output plunge from 700 tons a decade ago to just 175 estimated tons in 2012.

Which brings up some interesting questions. According to the White House, the drop in production was due to the usual politically palatable reasons:

These overall reductions in the Andean region can be traced to a variety of factors, including the strengthened U.S.-Colombia partnership forged over the past decade and the increased commitment to counternarcotics cooperation and citizen security from President Ollanta Humala and the Government of Peru. This includes strengthened democratic institutions, greater presence by the governments of Colombia and Peru throughout their territories, focused and persistent eradication, law enforcement efforts targeting drug trafficking organizations, improvements in the judicial system, alternative development, and increased foreign investment as a result of a significantly improved security environment.

The above is merely spin. Peru cocaine production has been not only constant but has been increasing over the years, while one can be certain that Bolivia's Evo Morales, who was grossly humiliated in the aftermath of the Snowden affair when US-influenced Western Europe blocked his air passage, is about to crank up coca plant planting to the max. Or is he?

To assume that Colombia will voluntarily eliminate billions in "current account-boosting" drug money just to be in Obama's good graces is ridiculous. So what is the reason for the drop in production?

One likely possibility is a parallel drop in demand, but not due to a surge in former drug users kicking the habit, but due to a drop in disposable cash for cocaine purchases. Which most certainly also includes Wall Street. And why not: with bankers getting their comp increasingly paid out in future vesting stock, which is hardly a drug dealer accepted currency, or simply paid less, and hedge funds everywhere underperforming Ben Bernanke Capital LP, it stands to reason that there is simply less cash for premium drugs, not only among the 99% but the "1%" as well.

An interest study would be to see if there is a matching "uninspirational consumer" effect, where former cocaine users have to make do with cheaper substitutes. If indeed there is less money available for a hit of the white powder, then it is likely that cheaper drugs are gaining on cocaine, leading to a surge of meth RVs in New Mexico and other.

Until then, and in an environment where increasingly more economic data is cut, pardon the pun, by abnormal political adjustments or is outright manipulated, one may have to resort to such abnormal indicators as cocaine production to get a sense of just how wealthy the global, drug-addicted consumer, truly is.


- advertisements -

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Fri, 07/12/2013 - 18:46 | 3746823 urbanelf
urbanelf's picture

All this shows is that the hedge fund industry is doing terrible.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 19:12 | 3746879 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

Does this include CIA production?

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 20:12 | 3747026 Isotope
Isotope's picture

People are substituting meth. Not that hard to figure out.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 20:38 | 3747082 malikai
malikai's picture

Are we witnessing the onset of Peak Cocaine?

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 20:55 | 3747129 pods
pods's picture

People crush an Adderal or Ritalin now.  


Fri, 07/12/2013 - 21:45 | 3747241 General Decline
General Decline's picture

When a Vicodin prescription is so easy to come by, who needs blow?

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 01:48 | 3747652 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Statist, who have no ability to obtain shit for themselves.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 07:29 | 3747861 0z
0z's picture

just to be in Obama's good graces


Here's a better idea: 

Obama! Ahahahahah!

Even the Authors at ZH are hypnotized by that Mirage!

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 20:57 | 3747135 Clint Liquor
Clint Liquor's picture

 A decline in production of blow? How will this affect the Hooker market? Will the two markets decouple?

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 21:51 | 3747260 General Decline
General Decline's picture

I don't snort coke. I just really like the way it smells.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 22:54 | 3747418 ToNYC
ToNYC's picture

Leo's friends like it and it makes pretty tongues wag like beatches. They like that; no soup for you!

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 08:20 | 3747896 Coke and Hookers
Coke and Hookers's picture

I doubt we'll see a decoupling. Nobody in finance with any self respect will replace coke with another drug when doing hookers. My guess is that the demand for high class hookers will follow the demand for coke downwards.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 00:55 | 3747606 Antifaschistische
Antifaschistische's picture

Feds have been trying hard to squash the cheaper substitute drugs to keep consumers into the high end stuff...but the economy just isn't playing along and small time meth labs are just too hard for them to find.   Of course, the DEA and ATF still get lots of overtime trying, but they're just gov welfare recipients too so they have no incentive to really eliminate the problem.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 21:12 | 3747165 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

The CIA's been busy in Afghanistan lately, not as many assets to use in the Americas.   How's Heroin production doing? 

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 06:17 | 3747819 Non-U
Non-U's picture

It's very dangerous for a country to stop producing heroin. Look the production of 2001. This stuff  seem more strategic than oil !!!!!!!!!

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 22:52 | 3747412 ToNYC
ToNYC's picture

Their only product is mind plucking; no stuff to lose.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 19:15 | 3746889 xtop23
xtop23's picture

There's a shock. The government taking a victory lap for the "successful" drug war.


Fri, 07/12/2013 - 20:00 | 3746995 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Mission Accomplished©

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 20:07 | 3747010 Thomas
Thomas's picture

Is anybody sharp enough to see that the drop in cocaine usage correlates with the drop in CNBC viewership? Not sure if it's that the cokeheads on the show suck more or the decreased coke consumption is causing decreased CNBC viewership.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 05:24 | 3747795 DavidC
DavidC's picture



Sat, 07/13/2013 - 08:50 | 3747918 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

Staff was told to decrease usage after this lunch break got Jeff Macke off the corporate message.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 23:00 | 3749920 Dingleberry
Dingleberry's picture

Don't need coke.

Google "Adderall" or "Ritalin".

Why risk jail when you can go to your doc and get it for maybe a copay.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 18:46 | 3746824 DIgnified
DIgnified's picture

Could just be an indicator of new concealment methods. 

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 18:46 | 3746825 darteaus
darteaus's picture

Economy is worse than I thought!

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 18:54 | 3746845 eatthebanksters
eatthebanksters's picture

Naaahhhh....meth is just wy cheaper!

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 19:33 | 3746933 Overfed
Overfed's picture

That would be the one.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 20:12 | 3747027 SmackDaddy
SmackDaddy's picture

Haha I was takin a shit reading this and I could hear my wife cutting lines and sniffling in the other room.  Gotta wipe my ass and get me a numby.  Gonna get some pussssssayyy this Friday night!!!

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 01:57 | 3747659 SmackDaddy
SmackDaddy's picture

Just in case anyone is keeping score at home...  I'm gettin ready to do dirt on the passed out wifey.  Dont misinterpret.  We on a level.  I love this ZH crowd, but u old and wimpering...

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 19:14 | 3746886 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

Has anyone considered the Kudlow factor in all of this? Larry Kudlow is roughly half the cocaine market, and he just got canned.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 19:25 | 3746916 mofreedom
mofreedom's picture

kudlow wouldn't touch the stuff, have you watched cramer or heard of are OBVIOUSLY a communist...drink molotov and be gayer...

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 19:32 | 3746929 mofreedom
mofreedom's picture

moltov was a perceived gave lover of stalin.  page 128 of The Great Terror.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 19:40 | 3746955 mofreedom
mofreedom's picture

that's obviously a racist comment and i hope you're reported to the gub for inciting viilence and sent to the same prison i will be...

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 18:47 | 3746826 Haloween1
Haloween1's picture

hedonic adjustment

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 20:11 | 3747024 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Remember that, depending on how many times it gets stepped on, that 600 tons can easily be rehypothecated into twice that amount.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 21:49 | 3747249 General Decline
General Decline's picture

Ain't nothin' better than a baking soda blast.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 23:34 | 3747497 ersatzteil
ersatzteil's picture

It's cut with Levamisole now. A few bumps of fishscale and you're worm-free.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 18:47 | 3746827 Chupacabra-322
Chupacabra-322's picture

Dam! I guess the Criminal CIA & State Dept. are going to have a harder time importing the drugs then laundering the money through the Criminal
TBTFBanksters to overthrow Soverign govnmnets around the world.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 18:47 | 3746828 vote_libertaria...
vote_libertarian_party's picture

Because insurance\gvt paid pharma is legal and paid for!!!

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 18:51 | 3746838 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

It's not what drug you're on, but whose.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 00:10 | 3747551 e_goldstein
e_goldstein's picture

+1 for the Todd Snyder reference.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 18:48 | 3746830 One And Only
One And Only's picture

Which brings up some interesting questions.

No it doesn't. Charlie Sheen is sober.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 18:49 | 3746833 Evil Bugeyes
Evil Bugeyes's picture

Can we see a price chart for that?

Also, how about a graph showing total hooker employment?

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 18:50 | 3746834 Ribeye
Ribeye's picture

@Ribser: Sorry, but WTactualF is this stuff Snowball is saying about Ron being blackmailed by Mossad? Is this true?

Twitter is silent,

Inform me please ladies,

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 18:52 | 3746839 toxic8
toxic8's picture

Air America has shifted its focus from blow to trafficking that heron from Afghanistan, any coincidence of the pharmaceutical OxyContin & Heroin boom and America's occupation of Afghanistan and patrolling of Opium fields?


Nah, that's JACT (Just Another Conspiracy Theory) :-)

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 18:52 | 3746841 Cult of Criminality
Cult of Criminality's picture

About the same price as gold.....

Kinda do need income for the treats yes.

some older generation individuals, fear heart attacks now :-).

Not that I would know...just a feeling.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 23:51 | 3747523 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Consumption is down because Baby Boomers finally growed up (a little). 

One will be around any minute to tell us how their generation went to Woodstock (snore).  The Who were the only good band at Woodstock.  The rest were shite.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 19:19 | 3746844 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

This is why I am shorting the cocaine miners. It's obvious that once they are forced into bankruptcy the banks can throw them a lifeline, like the gold miners. This way they have direct access to the physical coke and gold. I am also shorting every hooker miner I can find for the same reason. As I see it the best way to play gold, coke and hookers is the XLF.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 18:54 | 3746846 NuYawkFrankie
NuYawkFrankie's picture

Re Cocaine production down

600 tons is still nothing to sneeze/sniffle at.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 19:28 | 3746922 MeelionDollerBogus
Fri, 07/12/2013 - 18:54 | 3746847 fijisailor
fijisailor's picture

I was in Bolivia last year.  Every restaurant has the usual selection of tea bags on the table including coca leaf tea bags.  Not considered unusual or illegal.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 19:07 | 3746862 NuYawkFrankie
NuYawkFrankie's picture

Gives a whole new  meaning to the term High Tea...

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 09:22 | 3747962 ToNYC
ToNYC's picture

They are already high, just its natural use of busy juice is required.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 20:54 | 3747125 pods
pods's picture

Most of the dangers of natural alkaloids stems from removal from the plant and isolating one active.  Opium poppy has numerous active alkaloids.  Some work to regulate the dopamine release of the others.  We as humans ban the use so it has to be made more potent and more easily transportable.

Opium tea, can be addicting but not terrible.

Heroin, sell you house and family for.

Another brilliant triumph in the war on (some) drugs.


Sat, 07/13/2013 - 08:38 | 3747256 Flagit
Flagit's picture

Heroin, sell you house and family for.

had someone tell me once, "you will sell your children, for more heroin."

i didnt believe him.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 20:57 | 3747137 Jendrzejczyk
Jendrzejczyk's picture

You can just buy it on the internet legally here in the US, or go to a South American grocery store. It's not illegal.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 19:01 | 3746857 toadold
toadold's picture

Well it kind of ties in with the decline in high end Swiss watch production.

The rise in non-listed get wasted drugs that can be made without imported ingredients.

Are drug dealers still able to buy the latests in firearms?

What country can I retire to and be assured a good supply of hookers and drugs on Social Secruity?

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 19:31 | 3746925 Jorgen
Jorgen's picture


What country can I retire to and be assured a good supply of hookers and drugs on Social Secruity?

Peru, Czech Republic or Portugal.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 01:38 | 3747638 Martel
Martel's picture

What country can I retire to and be assured a good supply of hookers and drugs on Social Secruity?

When this cycle of Ponzi Finance is completed, you will not have any money, none of us have. All of us will be either hookers or drug dealers, or both. Becoming a drug dealer is an insurance against government destroying the monetary system. A drug dealer has drugs and money, and with those two, an endless supply of hookers is guaranteed.


Sat, 07/13/2013 - 12:02 | 3748211 MayIMommaDogFac...
MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

You gotta be high if you're figuring on SS funding you...

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 19:07 | 3746868 Wakanda
Wakanda's picture

She's alright...

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 19:08 | 3746872 smacker
smacker's picture

Sheesh. Times must be hard for the Wall Street snorters.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 19:09 | 3746873 Luckhasit
Luckhasit's picture

All this means is that the CIA found another way to ship their product.

Through Mexico.  I bet those guys buisness is doing great. 

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 23:44 | 3747506 ersatzteil
ersatzteil's picture

They're making a killing. Averages $150/3.5 grams in Southern California, Tijuana had 150+ drug murders between January and April of this year.

Most of the interdiction at San Ysidro and Otay Mesa (San Diego crossing) is crystal meth. They buy the ingredients in bulk from Asia, and have meth labs stashed all over Mexico and Guatemala. 90% of your street meth is now Mexican, courtesy of the Feds banning over-the-counter medicine reagents.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 19:11 | 3746878 JenkinsLane
JenkinsLane's picture

Oh nose!

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 19:22 | 3746911 infinity8
infinity8's picture


Fri, 07/12/2013 - 19:20 | 3746893 JimmyRainbow
JimmyRainbow's picture

in europe te eu financed a project to determine rates of residues of cocaine use in rivers.

some sentence like "there are 6 tons of cocaine used yearly in the rhine area before cologne", which means frabkfurt as main area.

another case of useless data spying ......

the documents are accessible on the eu health organisation website,

here is just a citation

sooner or later correlation of available data will pinpoint individuals.

additionally pre2000 some toilet seats in banks in germany were tested positive for cocaine.

that were minor insidernews at that time. welll, the 700 metric tons will not be for europe but it may give a hint on how to measure where the shifts in consumption actually happen


Fri, 07/12/2013 - 19:18 | 3746898 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Here come the CIA layoffs.

and to add insult to injury

Bitcoin arrives in Kenya
Fri, 07/12/2013 - 21:55 | 3747273 Flagit
Flagit's picture

ok, where are they going to plug the machines in at? your country does not produce electrical-tricity if you are having to run an extension cord to Ethiopia to keep your lights on.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 19:19 | 3746901 yabyum
yabyum's picture

In SLC, Utah you can buy a button of heroin for less that a 12pack of PBR. Meth is also cheap. Who the hell needs sneeze cheese?

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 19:37 | 3746945 negative rates
negative rates's picture

Mormons are into some new stuff lately huh? Can you cop that the church??

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 21:24 | 3747186 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

may be surprising but the price of heroin has plummeted since the CIA has ramped up Afghan poppy production after kicking out al-qaeda.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 21:56 | 3747275 General Decline
General Decline's picture

Oh now, that's just a coincidence. We are freer now because of the Afghanistan war. Remember?

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 22:06 | 3747299 Flagit
Flagit's picture

there is a game i made up called The Ladder. go find a drug dealer, ruthlessly stomp a fresh mud-hole in his ass. then ask where the shit came from. take that info, rinse and repeat. now, it wont take long before you run into some local bad-asses. thugs, pistol-packers. be prepared, its a rough game. how far are you willing to go? how far CAN you go before you start getting the attention of the financiers. you will know when you get close, because suddenly peoples privacy and property will suddenly matter again. warning, you better have more than weekend-warriors by your side when they come for you.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 12:07 | 3748219 MayIMommaDogFac...
MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

Walter White?  Heisenberg?  Is that you?

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 19:23 | 3746913 All Out Of Bubblegum
All Out Of Bubblegum's picture

Slick Willie quit doing blow so demand is down. Producers are adjusting accordingly.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 19:26 | 3746918 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

OK, how do I invest in this now? Do I open my own coca fields or do I just get Charlie Sheen on the job?

No wonder the banksters say they have a crisis - the cocaine is running out!

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 21:58 | 3747280 General Decline
General Decline's picture

"OK, how do I invest in this now?"

Get a job at the CIA.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 19:26 | 3746920 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

Beaker, Kudlow, and Jim Cramer Had Money tends to offset supply and demand projections.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 19:30 | 3746923 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

      Does that statistic include 'part-time' cocaine production? The assclowns at the BLS probably came up with that seasonally adjusted number to make {Eric"nutsac"Holder} look better.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 19:39 | 3746950 negative rates
negative rates's picture

No more visits to the White House, not even on Easter egg day! That will keep the numbers down. 

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 19:40 | 3746953 TahoeBilly2012
TahoeBilly2012's picture

I find this hard to snort. 20 years ago coke was only where, in LA and NY? Now it's all over the world, Europe loves the stuff, Moscow, who knows. I just find this amazing really.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 20:49 | 3747109 Jendrzejczyk
Jendrzejczyk's picture

I can assure you, it was everywhere 30 years ago.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 19:43 | 3746963 starman
starman's picture

just another nose bleed!

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 19:45 | 3746966 jonjon831983
jonjon831983's picture

"Illegal gold mining profits for rebels in Colombia five times larger than cocaine"

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 00:21 | 3747559 Things that go bump
Things that go bump's picture

How can gold mining be illegal?

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 12:10 | 3748227 MayIMommaDogFac...
MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

By the stroke of a pen...Just the same way as drug dealng is made illegal...

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 19:49 | 3746976 reTARD
reTARD's picture

It looks like this means they need to ramp up their war of drugs!

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 19:52 | 3746981 The Fonz...befo...
The Fonz...before shark jump's picture

QE is a hell of a drug

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 21:07 | 3747152 thisandthat
thisandthat's picture

Shit just got serious.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 21:19 | 3747180 22winmag
22winmag's picture

It must be hard for honest coke producers to compete with government subsidized poison pill producers.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 22:16 | 3747330 ToNYC
ToNYC's picture

Turn down mother nature's gifts; turn up synthetic meds like electrically-heated nicotine nerve poison delivery systems.


Fri, 07/12/2013 - 22:20 | 3747350 Brixton Guns
Brixton Guns's picture

Cocaine is so last week.

Hopium is the new bathsaltz bitchez. 

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 22:22 | 3747353 davidcherr
davidcherr's picture

The reduction in cocaine production does not mean a consumption reduction, or at least not one as great as the production decline.  The same report that documents lower production also touts a reduction in retail purity of 28% since 2006.  This means that as the recession began to bite, the drug industry responded by stepping harder on the product.  Call it Qualitative Easing.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 23:27 | 3747481 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

Kudlow's show cancelled... production will drop in half soon

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 00:27 | 3747569 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

Eric Clapton - Cocaine

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 00:30 | 3747572 celticgold
celticgold's picture

Blow me down and stone the crows ..

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 02:42 | 3747702 vegan
vegan's picture

Longs: Methamphetamine, pseudoephedrine, used RVs.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 06:04 | 3747809 Incubus
Incubus's picture

I was brought up by the internet and made no real friends outside of my internet-using geek friends; who the fuck uses cocaine?


I need to make new friends.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 10:21 | 3748036 dunce
dunce's picture

There us no war on drugs and there never has been. There has only been a war on tax evaders. This unregulated trade could not be audited and plus there are established  drug companies like Merck that have paid big money to politicians for market  and price protection. The drug trade could be largely controlled with simple border control but that is on neither parties agenda.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 11:48 | 3748187 spentCartridge
spentCartridge's picture

Just like gold then?

I usta pay eighty sheets a gramme, now it's halved to forty ... & the quality has doubled!


More people want more of a lesser available product and the price has tanked. Gonna back up another truck.


'Caution, vehicle reversing ... caution, vehicle reversing ...'


Hubba hubba hubba.


Sun, 07/14/2013 - 04:49 | 3750719 Fire Angel
Fire Angel's picture

I think this chart would be better if the Tyler(s) added in all the layoffs from the big banks. That might explain something. Bankster bonueses might be another interesting comparison. Fire Angel 

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!