Another record Afghan opium crop – but prices set to fall?

The New York Times this morning has a leaked copy of a UN report due out on Monday, with news of another record opium crop in Afghanistan – “led by a staggering 45 per cent increase in the Taliban stronghold of Helmand”. But, the NYT goes on:

Loren Stoddard [the head of the US Agency of International Development’s agriculture program in Afghanistan], who helped Wal-Mart move into Central America in his previous posting, predicted that poppy production had become so prolific that the opium market was flooded and prices were starting to drop. “It seems likely they’ll have a rough year this year,” he said, referring to the poppy farmers. “Labor prices are up and poppy prices are down. I think they’re going to be looking for new things.”