Police in Tauranga say the theft of a large quantity of a chemical used to make P will have a significant impact on the illegal drug trade.
About 800 litres of hypophosphorous acid, which is used to make methamphetamine, was stolen from a licensed facility overnight on Saturday.
Hypophosphorous acid is vital in the manufacture of the illegal drug P.
Senior Sergeant Rob Glencross says he has no doubt the burglary was carried out by those in the drug trade, and the acid taken is enough to produce hundreds of kilograms of the drug.
He believes the chemical may have been taken out of the Bay of Plenty and may already be in use.
Mr Glencross says it is a dangerous chemical and he is calling on anyone who knows about the theft to contact police.
He believes a large vehicle would have been needed to transport the chemical.