Tequila from Mexico drove boost in U.S. imports of alcoholic beverages in 2022
The United States imported $26.6 billion in alcoholic beverages in 2022. Total U.S. imports of distilled spirits, beer, and wine accounted for 14 percent of all U.S. agricultural imports. Distilled spirits were the largest and fastest growing segment of these products, accounting for almost half—$12 billion—of U.S. alcohol imports. Tequila from Mexico led the growth among distilled spirits, while imports of products such as whiskey and vodka, which traditionally are higher, decreased. Adjusting for inflation, between 2014 and 2019, tequila imports increased from $1.1 billion to $4.9 billion. While the United States is the largest market for Mexico’s tequila, international demand, especially in Europe, also has been strong. Drought in key agave-growing regions as well as a less favorable currency exchange rate have led to a reduced U.S. forecast for distilled spirit imports in 2023 and 2024. In 2022, total U.S. beer import values reached $6.7 billion, and wine imports reached $7.8 billion, both of which are expected to cool in 2023 and into 2024. The United States also exported $3.9 billion of alcoholic beverages in 2022. U.S. exports of distilled spirits, largely bourbon, have grown, while wine and beer exports have remained flat. This chart is drawn from the Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade published by USDA’s Economic Research Service in August 2023.
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