Blue Gold is what some people in the tequila business are calling agave these days.
The Blue Weber Agave plant is what’s used to make tequila and we are at the beginning of a shortage. Tequila, especially premium tequila is on fire right now and demand is high.
I remember around the year 2000, there was a shortage and all the growers panicked. Distillers and farmers planted so much agave that eight years later there was a surplus. Once there was a plentiful amount of inexpensive agave on hand, all kinds of new brands started popping up. The surplus didn’t last and neither did the brands. Remember Don Viejo and Buscadores? Yeah, I don’t either.
Agave prices are on the rise and a lot of brands are feeling pinched just like in the early 2000’s. Agave prices are at 22 pesos ($1.50) per kilo — up from 3.85 pesos in 2016. Already, the 17.7 million Blue Agaves planted in 2011 for use this year have fallen short of the 42 million the industry needs to supply 140 registered companies, according to figures from the Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT) and the National Tequila Industry Chamber (CNIT). The experts are predicting that the shortage could last until as late as the year 2024! Whenever something becomes more valuable, it becomes more of a candidate for theft. The number of stolen agave plants in 2017 rose threefold from 2016, with 15,000 plants reported stolen, according to the CRT.