While cocaine manufacture and trafficking have had a serious impact in the Western hemisphere, there are indications that overall global availability of cocaine has fallen. The estimated net area under coca bush cultivation as of 31 December 2012 was the lowest since the beginning of available estimates in 1990: 133,700 hectares, a decline of 14 per cent from the estimate for 2011.
Global cocaine seizures increased to 671 tons in 2012, compared with the 634 tons seized in 2011. The main increase in the quantities of cocaine seized were in South America and Western and Central Europe.
Cocaine use is still relatively concentrated in the Americas, Europe and Oceania, and practically all of the world's cocaine is produced in three countries in South America. While there is no conclusive evidence with respect to the extent of cocaine use in Africa and Asia, expert opinion indicates that there may be pockets of emerging cocaine use in those two regions, related to the rise in trafficking through Africa and increased affluence in both continents.
The most problematic use of cocaine is in the Americas. In North America, cocaine use has been declining since 2006, partly due to a sustained shortage. However, more recently, a slight increase in prevalence has been observed in the United States, as has an increase in maritime seizures.
In South America, cocaine consumption and trafficking have become more prominent, particularly in Brazil due to factors including its geographical location and a large urban population.
In Western and Central Europe, the second largest market after the Americas, indicators of overall supply suggest a possible rebound in the availability of cocaine; retail purity has increased in some countries with sizable consumer markets. On the other hand, they do not show an increase in demand. There has even been a decline in cocaine use in some of the countries that have had higher levels of use.
The market has expanded in Oceania in recent years, but the region has a different pattern of use compared with other consumer markets because it has a large body of users (a high prevalence) who use the substance with low frequency, perhaps due to the high price of cocaine.