No more margaritas? The world could soon be faced with a tequila shortage

By Mariah Medina - Digital Journalist

As National Margarita Day approaches, savor your beverages, folks, because they may be your last -- or the cheapest they'll ever be.

A shortage of blue agave -- the main ingredient in tequila -- is putting tequila producers in a sticky situation as the high global demand for tequila remains unfettered.

According to Reuters, the demand for tequila has caused a shortage of the plant.

The shortage has caused blue agave prices to rise six-fold. Soaring prices, according to Reuters, have producers worried they will not be able to meet the global demand.

It takes anywhere between eight and 10 years for an agave plant to reach maturation to be used in the production of tequila, and one tequila supplier said he has been forced to use plants before they've fully matured.

“They are using four-year-old plants because there aren’t any others," Marco Polo Magdaleno told Reuters. "I can guarantee it because I have sold them."

In 2011, only 17.7 million blue agaves were planted in anticipation of the 2018 demand. Figures from the Tequila Regulatory Council and National Tequila Industry Chamber show that approximately 42 million plants will be needed to satisfy the demands of registered companies this year.

If there's any good news, it's that some of the biggest sellers of tequila say they haven't felt the effects.

Bigger sellers such as Patron and Tequila Sauza told Reuters they have not had a problem acquiring agave and "forecast that their inventories will keep growing."

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