Skip to main content

Short opium futures

Well, as far as I can tell there is no futures market in opium, aside from a few such references cropping up in the results of a Google search. I must say though, that the post title's jesting tone belies the seriousness of the topic: Afghanistan's opium production and its link to the international drug trade.

Recent efforts to move Afghanistan's economy away from opium production have faltered, according to recent reports. A March 20 Financial Times article says farmers opium growing provinces were promised aid and compensation for not growing opium, but that delivery of funds and assistance has so far been limited. By all indications, farmers have scrapped compliance with the stated goal of eradicating opium crops and are instead increasing production.

"Afghanistan saw a 20 per cent drop in the area used to grow poppies in 2005, but a recent survey by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crimes indicates that the crop is likely to surge this year. Diplomats say the areas used to grow opium may rise as much as 40 per cent nationwide."

Opium production dropped by nearly 50 percent in one Afghan province, after officials assured farmers they would benefit from aid for not growing. Many farmers have had to sell land and animals to repay debts to drug dealers who lend money using the next years crop as collateral. Public anger is evident; one public official admits it would have been better if nothing had been promised and villagers were simply told that growing opium is against the law.

I have to wonder how this will affect opium prices. Although acreage devoted to opium crop production decreased in 2005, total output (4,100 tons) remained virtually constant. The average farm gate price for a kilo of opium was $102 in 2005, according to this report.

Popular posts from this blog

New! Finance Trends now at FinanceTrendsLetter.com

Update for our readers: Finance Trends has a new URL!  Please bookmark our new web address at Financetrendsletter.com Readers sticking with RSS updates should point your feed readers to our new Finance Trends feedburner .   Thank you to all of our loyal readers who have been with us since the early days. Exciting stuff to come in the weeks ahead! As a quick reminder, you can subscribe to our free email list to receive the Finance Trends Newsletter . You'll receive email updates about once every 4-8 weeks (about 2-3 times per quarter).  Stay up to date with our real-time insights and updates on Twitter .

Moneyball: How the Red Sox Win Championships

Welcome, readers . T o get the first look at brand new posts (like the following piece) and to receive our exclusive email list updates, please subscribe to the Finance Trends Newsletter .   The Boston Red Sox won their fourth World Series title of t he 21st century this we ek. Having won their first Se ries in 86 years back in 200 4, the last decade-plus has marked a very strong return to form for one of baseball's oldest big league clubs. So how did they do it? Quick background: in late 2002, team own er and hedge fund manager, John W. Henry (with his partners ) bought the Boston Red Sox and its historic Fenway Park for a reported sum of $ 695 million. Henry and Co. quickly set out to find their ideal General Manager (GM) to help turn around their newly acquired, ailing ship. This brings us to one of my fav orite scenes from the 2011 film , Moneyball , in which John W. Henry (played by Ar liss Howard) attempts to woo Oakland A's GM Billy Beane (Brad Pi

Jukebox

Tonight's jukebox is a blast back to the mid-1980's with a live in studio performance by New Order for BBC Radio 1. There are some very noticeable flubs in their performance (I think Bernard may have been feeling a little "rushed"), but the songs are amazing and it's like being an eyewitness to a studio rehearsal. An excellent video snapshot of one of the most inventive modern pop groups doing their thing. Enjoy, and thanks Adz! New Order, live 1984: "Sooner Than You Think" , "Age of Consent" , "Blue Monday" , "In a Lonely Place" , "Temptation" .