22 | ABR | 2019
Super Bowl guacamole threatened by Mexican fuel shortage
In addition to the Super Bowl, Mexican producers also have to meet commitments with supermarkets and restaurants in the United States - Photo: File photo/EL UNIVERSAL

Super Bowl guacamole threatened by Mexican fuel shortage

11/01/2019
14:40
Reuters
Mexico City
Adrián Barrera
-A +A
Producers in Michoacán expect to ship 120,000 tonnes of avocado for this Super Bowl

Super Bowl fans may have to go without guacamole this year if avocado farmers in Mexico cannot send their fruit to the United States because of a prolonged fuel shortage.

Like clockwork, Mexican producers ship thousands of tonnes of avocado to the United States in early February every year, where guacamole is a staple living room snack on Super Bowl Sunday.

But the Mexican government’s efforts to clamp down on years of mounting fuel theft has a prompted a week-long fuel shortage that has left many states in central and western Mexico high and dry.

Among those states is Michoacán, the country’s main avocado grower. Producers there expect to ship 120,000 tonnes for this Super Bowl, 20,000 tonnes more than last year.

“Our three most important weeks of the year are this one and the next two. This is when we ship for Super Bowl week,” said Ramon Paz, spokesman for APEAM, a business association representing Mexican avocado producers and exporters.

“We have from now to January 24, 25 to ship all that volume. If we don’t ship it (by then), we can’t do so later,” Paz said.

So far, 27,000 tonnes have been sent to the United States for the Super Bowl, which will be held on Feb. 3 in Atlanta, Georgia. The annual football championship is the most-watched U.S. television broadcast of the year, regularly drawing more than 100 million viewers.

The fuel shortage has not yet affected exports to the United States, but it has begun to hamper transportation in Mexico for workers and harvested avocados, Paz added.

In addition to the Super Bowl, Mexican producers also have to meet commitments with supermarkets and restaurants in the United States.

However, in spite of the long gas station lines in Morelia, Michoacán, the Association of Producers, Packers and Exporters of Avocado from Michoacán (APEM) claimed that almost 3 thousand truckloads of avocado had already been shipped to the United States to be sold during the Super Bowl. 

The director of the APEAM, Ramón Paz, assured that fuel shortage had raised concerns among producers, though trucks have so far traveled to the U.S. without delay. "We are concerned about the lack of fuel but, until this moment, it hasn't represented an issue for us. It seems that diesel is not as scarce as regular gas," he claimed.

The crackdown on fuel theft, which has drained billions of dollars from state coffers and is blamed for rising violence in some regions, is leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s first major move against criminals and corruption since taking office on Dec. 1. The move risks angering consumers and hurting the economy.
 

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Avocado, from Mexico to the world

Avocado has been harvested for around 50,000 years
Avocado, from Mexico to the worldAvocado, from Mexico to the world

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