UN says opium production in Myanmar down for first time in 8 years

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The United Nations says Myanmar's opium production fell in 2014 for the first time in nearly a decade.

The drop was due to lower crop yields, however, and the total area under cultivation remained roughly the same as the previous year.

Myanmar is the world's second-biggest producer of opium poppies — which is used to make heroin — after Afghanistan, which still accounts for the majority grown.

Production in the Southeast Asian country had risen since 2006 as regional demand grew and prices increased.

The U.N. said in a report released Monday that Myanmar produced 670 tons of opium in 2014, 200 tons less than 2013.

Crop yields vary annually because of climatic fluctuations and disease.