Global cocaine production hits record level

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime said coca cultivation had increased by 35 percent between 2021 and 2022, reaching record levels.

The findings show that new centers for smuggling are emerging in West and Central Africa.

The report also notes that smugglers use international postal services more frequently to deliver drugs to consumers.

Europe and North America are the largest cocaine markets, followed by South and Central America and the Caribbean.

While the report said that markets in Africa and Asia are “still limited”, UN’s Ghada Waly said the potential for the market to expand there is a dangerous reality.

The Cocaine Global Report said the increase in production was the result of expansion in coca tree planting, as well as improvements in the conversion of coca into powder cocaine.

Other findings in the report are as follows:

– As for the routes to Europe, Colombia still dominates the smuggling routes

– Consumption in Australia peaked in mid-2020, dropped 50 percent the following year, and recovered “moderately” in the last few months of 2021.

– Mexican and Balkan criminal groups approached the production center to gain access to the material

– Stone cocaine use is on the rise in many Western European countries, including the United Kingdom, Belgium, France and Spain.

– The market was expanding in Ukraine, but demand has deteriorated drastically since the Russian invasion last February.

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