European Drug Report 2017

Drug supply and the market

Cocaine: recent increases in market indicators

In Europe, cocaine is available in two forms, the most common is cocaine powder (the salt form) and less commonly available is crack cocaine (free base), a smokeable form of the drug. Cocaine is produced from the leaves of the coca bush. The drug is produced mainly in Bolivia, Colombia and Peru. Cocaine is transported to Europe by various means, including passenger flights, air freight, postal services, private aircraft, yachts and maritime containers. The retail cocaine market in the European Union is estimated to be worth a minimum of EUR 5.7 billion.

Cocaine

Number of seizures

cocaine-seizures

Quantities seized (tonnes)

cocaine-seized

Price
(EUR/g)

cocaine-price

Indexed trends

Purity
(%)

cocaine-purity
NB

EU + 2 refers to EU Member States, Turkey and Norway. Price and purity of cocaine: national mean values — minimum, maximum and interquartile range. Countries covered vary by indicator.

In total, around 87 000 seizures of cocaine were reported in the European Union in 2015. Together, Belgium, Spain, France, Italy and Portugal account for 78 % of the estimated 69.4 tonnes seized (Figure 1.6). The situation has remained relatively stable since 2007, although both the number of seizures and the quantity seized increased between 2014 and 2015 (see Figure 1.6). While Spain (22 tonnes) continues to be the country seizing the most cocaine, Belgium (17 tonnes) and France (11 tonnes) seized very large amounts in 2015, and notable increases in quantities seized, compared with the previous year, were reported by Belgium, Germany and Portugal. Overall, indexed trends suggest a small increase in the purity of cocaine in 2015.

Number of cocaine seizures and quantity seized: trends and 2015 or most recent year

Number of seizures

figure-1-6-seizures

Tonnes

figure-1-6-tonnes

Number of cocaine seizures (thousands)

figure-1-6-seizures-map
NB

Number of seizures (thousands) for 10 countries with highest values.

 

Quantity of cocaine seized (tonnes)

figure-1-6-quantity-seized

Other coca products were seized in Europe in 2015, including 76 kilograms of coca leaves and 377 kilograms of coca paste. Seizures of coca paste suggest the existence of illicit laboratories producing cocaine hydrochloride in Europe. This is a new development as, to date, most of the cocaine laboratories found in Europe have been ‘secondary extraction facilities’, where cocaine is recovered from materials in which it had been incorporated (such as wines, clothes, plastics).

The main illicit stimulant drugs available in Europe are cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine and MDMA