Information collected from media reports over the last month:
Solar power: Italian renewable energy developer Enel Green Power inaugurated a solar energy generation plant in the central state of Guanajuato, the company reported. The US$220 million facility is projected to have a maximum capacity of 238 Mw. (Reforma, May 24, 2018)
Pharmacies: Mexican pharmacy chain operator Farmacias del Ahorro plan to open 200 new stores this year, the company reported. Investment was not specified for the expansion, which is expected to focus on the four northwestern states of Baja California, Sonora, Sinaloa and Colima. (Reforma, May 25, 2018)
Retail: Mexican department store chain Elektra projects it will open 90 stores in the country this year at a cost of approximately US$203 million. Despite the rapid growth of e-commerce, Elektra has opened 182 new physical sales locations over the past two years. (Forbes en Español, May 22, 2018)
Electricity: Mexican energy developer Rengen Energy Solutions plans investment of approximately US$400 million to build electricity generation plants for private industrial operations, the company reported. Plans in development include eight plants for industrial clusters seeking to take advantage of electricity generation by private producers now permitted under Mexico’s recent energy reform. (El Financiero, May 17, 2018)
Fuel storage: Private companies are currently undertaking construction of 48 new fuel storage terminals in Mexico via combined investment of approximately US$2.7 billion, Mexico’s Energy Ministry (Sener) reported. The new projects are projected to add 31 million barrels of storage capacity and extend inventories from three to 13 days by 2022. (El Financiero, May 17, 2018)Continue reading Recent and upcoming investment in Mexico→
A recent story in Reforma cites information from the Mexican Wine Council in reporting that consumption of wine in Mexico has weathered the steep economic downturn remarkably well. The story maintains that while wine sales in restaurants have dropped 25% so far this year, sales in wine shops and liquor stores are up 35% and supermarket wine sales are up 30%. This has to be a testament to the yeoman-like labor of the country’s wine producers, importers and distributors over the past ten years to boost consumption of wine in the country. Although Mexico is the oldest wine producing country in the Americas, wine has never been a traditional part of the culture here. In recent years, however, Mexico’s wine industry has really hit the salt mines in an effort to democratize wine consumption to include the commercially attractive middle class market. The road is long and steep: A 2005 report on world per capita wine consumption by The Wine institute ranks Mexico at number 161 out of 189 countries, far behind the hedonistic sybarites of Burkina Faso, Uzbekistan and the Faroe islands, for example. The good news, though, is that the trend is unmistakably upward. Although domestic wine production still serves only about one third of the market, Mexico’s wineries, concentrated in the Baja California peninsula, have made tremendous strides in quality and are gaining recognition beyond the country’s borders. The good ones are still on the spendy side though, and this will continue to be a tough obstacle for both domestic and imported wines to overcome in the battle to gain the hearts and minds of the middle class Mexican consumer. Anyone who buys wine on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border will notice right away how much more expensive the same bottle is south of the Rio Bravo. A quick price check, for example, reveals that a bottle of Ravenswood Zinfandel costs about US$8.00 at BevMo in California, while the same bottle will cost you US$18.00 at the La Naval wine shop in Mexico City, which has pretty good prices by local standards. Likewise, a bottle of Wolf Blass Shiraz Yellow Label generally costs about US$10.00 in the United States and runs about US$22.00 in Mexico, and so on. I haven’t seen any bottles of Two Buck Chuck on the shelves here yet, but frankly I think I’d be scared to drink any wine that costs under 30 pesos in Mexico.
There is lots of information on Mexican wine on the web, here’s one place to start: www.bajawine.info