This year, Super Bowl fans may have to go without guacamole if avocado farmers in Mexico cannot send their fruit to the United States because of a prolonged fuel shortage. Mexican producers ship thousands of tons of avocado to the US in early February every year, where guacamole is a staple 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 Michoacan, the country’s main avocado grower. Producers there expect to ship 120,000 tons for this Super Bowl, 20,000 tons 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.”
So far, 27,000 tons 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 crackdown on fuel theft, which has drained billions of dollars from state coffers and is blamed for rising violence in some regions, is President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s first major move against criminals and corruption since taking office on Dec. 1. According to an article on reuters.com, the move risks angering consumers and hurting the economy.