Friday, May 8, 2020

Narcos play a numbers game - numbers against them

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit cocaine traffickers according to a UN report. After lock-downs and restrictions were imposed in Latin American countries and the global maritime trade slowed, there was a substantial drop in seizures, which indicates fewer shipments. The narcos play a numbers game. They will accept a 15% to 20% loss ratio, but with fewer containers to check in ports, the odds are now stacked against them.

On the demand side dealers are doing well. The wholesale price for a kilo of cocaine in Rotterdam went up from about $27k a kilo late last year to $35k a kilo now.
Mexican cartels have seen intensified competition among them as it becomes harder to get product through traditional ports of entry. They are the last step in the overland route to America however, so their power ought to swing higher compared to Colombian cartels.