WARNING: We May See a Tequila Shortage
First there were stories of a wine shortage this year, now there are reports there will be a tequila shortage! What will we do? National Margarita Day is this Thursday, February 22nd, I'm going to need my margarita.To make matters worse, unlike wine where the grapes ripen during a season, blue agave (what tequila is made from) takes years to mature. YEARS.
No more margaritas. No more tequila shots. No more Long Island iced teas. No more tequila sunrises. No more palomas. You get the point. Let's dive into this a little bit shall we? What caused this shortage? How long will it last? How will we survive?
According to Reuters, there are two issues that are to blame for the tequila shortage. There is a massive shortage of the blue agave, the plant tequila is made from. It takes years for the blue agave to mature, 7 to 8 years to be exact. So we need to use agave from around 2011. Here comes the problem. Only about 17.7 million plants were planted in 2011. That may seem like a lot, but it's nowhere near enough for the world's needs. Let's put it this way, we drink A LOT of tequila. We need 42 million plants! If you did the math that means we are short 24.3 million agave plants.
The price of agave has skyrocketed as well. Supply and demand. We want more of it so of course the price goes up. A few years ago agave cost around 3.85 pesos per kilo, or about .21 cents in American dollars. Now it costs 22 pesos per kilo, or $1.19 in American dollars. That is a 476% increase!
Unlike the wine shortage, which should only effect this year's wine, the tequila shortage is expected to last until 2021. You may want to change your drink of choice for the time being. Simple economics will tell you the shortage means the price will go up.
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