Tequila production and exports reached their highest level ever in 2021, with almost 500 million liters produced in the first 11 months of the year.
The Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT) reported that 487.5 million liters of Mexico’s most famous tipple were produced between January and November, a 41.2% increase compared to the same period of 2020.
The industry group said that domestic demand for tequila increased 117% this year, while exports grew by a more modest 17.6%.
It said that a record 310.5 million liters of the distilled blue agave beverage – 64% of total production – was exported between January and November, leaving 177 million liters for the shot glasses, margaritas and palomas (cocktails made with tequila and grapefruit soda) consumed by adult Mexicans.
Total production in 2021 is expected to be around 527 million liters, the CRT said, while total exports are predicted to be 336 million liters. More than 2 million tonnes of agave will have been used in tequila production by the end of the year, the council said.
The plant is grown by 25,000 registered agaveros who supply the raw material for 1,913 tequila brands, up from just 516 in 1995.
Five records were set in 2021, the CRT noted, explaining that in addition to the production and export records, agave use by the tequila industry, grower numbers and brand numbers reached new highs.
Tequila is mainly made in Jalisco, specifically the municipality of Tequila, but the spirit can also be legally produced in certain municipalities in four others states: Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit and Tamaulipas.