Cocaine set to become Colombia’s main export, overtaking oil

Cocaine is ready to turn out to be Colombia’s predominant export, overtaking oil, as manufacturing of the narcotic continues to develop as the federal government take a extra lenient coverage concerning medication, in accordance with estimates by Bloomberg Economics.

Members of the Colombian Navy stand guard along with three tons of cocaine that were seized in San Andres, Colombia on September 13.(Reuters)
Members of the Colombian Navy stand guard together with three tons of cocaine that had been seized in San Andres, Colombia on September 13.(Reuters)

Oil exports posted a drop of 30% within the first half and the pattern of cocaine commerce has constantly risen, that means the latter may very well be Colombia’s No. 1 export as quickly as this yr, in accordance with Bloomberg economist Felipe Hernandez.

“We estimate cocaine export revenues jumped to $18.2 billion in 2022 — not far behind oil exports of $19.1 billion last year,” Hernandez mentioned in a be aware. “The government is destroying laboratories where coca leaves are manufactured into cocaine, but that hasn’t prevented production from expanding.”

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Colombia’s cocaine output surged to a file 1,738 tons final yr, whereas the quantity of land planted with coca, the uncooked materials for making the drug, rose 13% to a file 230,000 hectares (570,000 acres) in 2022 from the earlier yr, in accordance with a UN Workplace on Medication and Crime report revealed this week.

Hernandez mentioned the rise in cocaine manufacturing has had a short-term impact on exercise, home demand and exterior accounts whereas not seeming to correlate with the efficiency of the Colombian peso.

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President Gustavo Petro, the primary Colombian leftist chief, has modified the nation’s method towards drug trafficking, in search of to hit drug lords who profit extra from the sale of narcotics abroad somewhat than concentrating on coca leaf producers, who’re the weakest hyperlink within the manufacturing chain. Petro is in search of talks with the nation’s predominant drug-trafficking teams, within the hope of ending six many years of civil battle although peace accords.

The brand new coverage method towards medication is facilitating unlawful teams to extend cocaine manufacturing, Hernandez mentioned.

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