A mere half of all 152 companies registered with the Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT) – the body which governs the production and sale of Jalisco’s most well-known export – are actually producing tequila on a regular basis, while the remaining half are only sporadically doing so.
The main culprit, according to National Tequila Industry Chamber President Rodolfo Gonzalez Gonzalez, is the rising price of blue agave, the main ingredient of tequila.
This year, blue agave has been selling for just over 20 pesos a kilo, compared to around four pesos two years ago.
While the larger producers don’t likely bat a lash in the face of the increasing cost of “blue weber” agave, smaller producers are hard hit.
According to Reuters, the 17.7 million blue agaves planted in 2011 in Mexico for use this year fall far short of the 42 million the industry needs to supply all the registered companies.
“Stabilization of prices should result in the affected companies’ resumption of production,” said Gonzalez.
Gonzalez expects prices to stabilize once supply increases, claiming this will most likely occur during the second half of this year.