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Opium Statistics


Tea and Opium Trade Statistics

British tea purchases from China:

1700-25
1760
1800
1808

400,000 pounds
2,600,000 pounds
23,300,000 pounds
26,000,000 pounds

Chinese Opium Imports:

 

year

1729
1767
1800-20
1820-30
1832
1838-39

 

Chests from India

200
1,000
4,500
10,000
23,570
40,000

 

 

 
 
avg.
avg.

 

Patna

 
 
$560-90
$2,075
 
$744

Cost per chest

 

 
 
(1801)
(1821)
 
(1835)

 

Malwa

 
 
$400
$1,325
 
$602

Opium Consumption ca. 1839:

Estimates rage from 2.1 million to 12.5 million addicts

Global cultivation estimates of opium poppy and production estimates of opium

1990

1991

1992

1993

Cultivation in hectares 267,754 286,368 265,216 289,355
Production in tons 3,830 4,314 4,140 4,693
 
1994
1995
1996
1997
Cultivation in hectares 283,049 266,478 271,999 265,741
Production in tons 5,519 4,486 4,389 4,861

Sources: UNDCP, Annual Reports Questionnaires; UNDCP estimates.

  • The United Nations International Drug Control Program (UNDCP) estimates that slightly fewer than 5,000 tons of illicit opium were produced in 1997. Production in 1997 was lower than in 1994, but is still considerably higher than in 1990. The dramatic growth rates experienced in the 1980s and early 1990s, however, have given way to a certain degree of stabilization since the mid-1990s.
  • In terms of area under cultivation, UNDCP estimates that opium poppy cultivation in 1997 was just under 270,000 hectares, about the same as in 1990. Afghanistan and Myanmar were the main sources of increased cultivation/production over the last decade, with Afghanistan being the main source for the rise. Together these two countries accounted for about 80 per cent of global area under opium poppy cultivation and for 90 per cent of global illicit opium production in 1996-97.
  • The third largest producer is Laos where production fluctuated between 100-150 tons in the 1990s. Cultivation and production in Thailand and Pakistan have decreased drastically over the years and more recently Vietnam has shown a downward trend. With a combined 12,000 hectares of opium poppy, Colombia and Mexico are relatively minor global opium/heroin producers. Heroin produced in these countries is shipped to the North American market. Opium/heroin production has remained stable in both countries for several years, due mainly to vigorous opium poppy eradication policies.
  • Taking into account seizures of opium (210 tons on average in 1995-96) and the amounts used for domestic purposes, consumption in neighboring regions and losses in transport (in total some 30 per cent of production less seizures of opium) UNDCP estimates that about 3,300 tons of opium were available for production of heroin in 1997. Applying a 10:1 conversion rate, (opium to heroin) production of heroin in 1997 amounted to 330 tons. Less seizures of heroin (some 30 tons on average in 1995-96) about 300 tons of heroin are likely to have been available in the consumer markets.

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  • Alcohol Facts
  • The effects felt from opium last approximately 4 hours.
  • Opium addiction occurs very rapidly, sometimes within weeks.
  • Opium is the crudest form and also the least potent of the Opiates.
  • Opium, in its raw form is likely to be contaminated with bacteria and fungi.