Tequila, Mexico’s signature drink, reported the highest inflation in nearly 15 years, due to higher taxes and fuel prices.
According to information from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), the price of the drink soared 7,6% in June with respect to the same month in 2016. This is the highest inflation since August 2002, when it increased by 8,2%.
For example, Don Julio 750-milliliter (ml) white tequila bottle was sold at MXN$527 in June in Mexico City, while a year ago it was offered at MXN$460.
According to the INEGI, the same bottle was sold at MXN$433 last month in the city of Monterrey, which represents a rise of MXN$34 compared to MXN$399 that cost in June 2016.
In this regard, the coordinator of finished product assurance area of the Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT), María Bertha Becerra, explained that the increased price is due to several factors.
“Taxes have a direct impact on the price of the drink, but we must also consider the increase in fuel price, which impact the agave-tequila production chain,” said Becerra in an interview for EL UNIVERSAL.
The CRT coordinator stressed that even at the highest price, tequila continues to be demanded because it is a leading product and it has a very important external market, so much so that the export volume of the drink tripled between 1995 and 2016.
She also underlined the sustained growth of exports in recent years, which set a record 196,8 million liters in 2016, and anticipates that they will increase to 209,7 million by 2017.
“Despite the adverse global economic situation, tequila has a presence in more than 120 countries,” emphasized Becerra.
The United States is the main consumer of tequila, with 161 million liters in 2016, which even doubles the consumption in Mexico.
On average, 18 million boxes of nine liters of tequila were marketed in the United States last year, equivalent to more than 80% of total exports.
“Tequila represents only 1,1% of the world distillate market, which speaks of the extraordinary potential of the product,” she said.
Mexico produced 273,2 million liters of tequila in 2016, a 19.6% increase compared to 2015, which was the highest increase since 2004.
The Tequila Regulatory Council expects production to increase to 300 million liters this year, close to the record of 312,1 million in 2008.
The Council coordinator commented that the main challenges of the industry are to align the supply and demand of agave, the basic raw material of tequila, as well as to continue evaluating the conformity of the product.
Autor original: Tláloc Puga