Afghanistan: Drugs

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 23rd April 2009.

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Photo of Claire Curtis-Thomas Claire Curtis-Thomas Labour, Crosby

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the quantity of heroin that will be produced in Afghanistan in 2009; and how much has been so produced in each year since 2000.

Photo of Bill Rammell Bill Rammell Minister of State, Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Estimates of the production of heroin/morphine in Afghanistan by the UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) since 2000 are set out in the following table.

Estimate of heroin/morphine derivatives available for export
Metric tons
2000 328
2001 19
2002 340
2003 360
2004 430
2005 420
2006 555
2007 666
2008 630


The UNODC figures are derived from their estimates that 60 per cent. of opium is converted into heroin in Afghanistan and 40 per cent. is exported. From 2000 to 2004, UNODC used a 10:1 ratio for the conversion of opium into heroin. This was revised to 7:1 in 2005 to reflect the higher morphine content of Afghan opium. The figures for opium production are adjusted to take into account the impact of seizures and local consumption.

Estimates of the potential opium and heroin production in Afghanistan for 2009 will be made after the harvesting of opium is complete in July. The UNODC will publish estimates of opium production in its annual Afghan Opium Survey which is likely to be available in Executive summary form in August.

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