Pandemic be damned, there is no interrupting the mercurial rise of agave distillates. The 2020 sales numbers for tequila were just released and the spirit, once again, set new records for production and export levels.
The latest annual report from the industry’s official regulator, Consejo Regulador del Tequila (CRT) detailed a banner yer. 374 million liters were produced in 2020. 286m of those liters were exported to more than 120 countries. Net exports were valued at $2 billion.
The CRT’s report also noted that 1.4 metric tons of Blue Weber Agave were consumed last year. The inclusion is a bit redundant given that all tequila is distilled from Blue Weber; however, that qualifier is big part of the CRT’s raison d’être and a fact that the group often stresses.
The group added that 1758 brands distilled 163 certified producers accounted for the massive output. 220,000 hectares of land, tightly monitored by the CRT, were farmed for agave.
2020 was an extremely mixed year for the spirits industry. Due to the COVID pandemic, bars and restaurants shuttered globally, sparking a cliff-drop in an on-premises sales. However, off-premises spike up, averaging 300-400% increases over 2019, during some months.
Still, tequila has been exponentially expanding for the last five years. So, the 2020 numbers are likely not an outlier.