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Stock Up Now Because A Tequila Shortage May Be On The Horizon

Amy Pilkington 9 Oct 2019

If you're a fan of margaritas or sipping tequila after a long day, then you may want to stock up on a few bottles of your favorite brand.

For the last year or so, experts have been watching the popularity of tequila skyrocket, making it hard for suppliers to keep up with demand.

The complications stem from the amount of mature agave available to make the popular liquor.


Prior poor business practices mean that there aren't enough Agave tequilana plants reaching the ripe age of seven-eight years, which is when they're at their best.

As a result, the price of the plants has risen to four-five times the cost it was in 2016.

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The lack of supply and overwhelming cost means that producers are forced to harvest younger plants.

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That could exacerbate the issue, since every young plant cut is another that won't reach maturity in the next few years.

New planting practices are being put into place, but their full effect won't be seen until those plants are ready to harvest.

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The shortages will probably be felt most in the cheaper and middle-grade brands.

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Tequila costs much more to produce than other spirits and producers with thin margins will hurt the most. Luxury brands have solid contracts with agave growers to keep supplies flowing.

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According to the National Tequila Industry Chamber (CNIT), in the last decade, Mexican production has dropped by 4%

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That doesn't sound like much, except that in the same time period exports of pure tequila to the United States grew 198%. Cheaper, blended products also rose by 11%.

So while the industry adjusts its practices to better meet demand, you may want to stock up.

h/t: Reuters

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