Happy Hour may look much different in the wake of a tequila shortage. Our penchant for margaritas may have to be put on the back burner as the demand grows far larger than the supply.
Rising global demand for tequila is worsening a shortage of agave and causing prices to rise, reports Reuters. The price of Agave tequilana, which is used to make the spirit, has jumped six-fold in the past two years, hurting the margins of smaller producers and causing worry that the shortage could even affect larger distillers. More than a dozen tequila experts believe the shortage will become worse in 2018 due to early harvesting. Some producers have been forced to use immature plants to compensate for the availability of fully grown agave, but younger plants produce less tequila, which means more need to be pulled early, exacerbating the shortage.
Approximately 17.7 million blue agaves were planted in Mexico for use this year, well short of the 42 million plants needed to support the industry, according to the Tequila Regulatory Council and the National Tequila Industry Chamber. The shortage is expected to last through at least 2021 due to the time it will take for improved planting strategies to bear fruit, according to the report: