Mexico sent its first shipment of 100 percent blue agave tequila to China, hoping to finally break into what sellers say could soon be their second biggest market.
The shipment consisted of more than 70,000 bottles of the highest quality tequila, with a total value of more than $400,000, according to the Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT).
“It’s the beginning of a great opportunity for the development, expansion and positioning of our national drink, tequila, to conquer this great market,” CRT head Miguel Angel Dominguez said during a speech at the event in the western Jalisco state.
He added that the Chinese market “last year alone accounted for 38 percent of the consumption of alcoholic beverages worldwide.”
Mexico has in the past been able to export lower-quality tequila, but only recently was a ban on 100 percent blue agave lifted, following a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping in June.
Previously, the methanol content in the premium product was considered too high by Chinese authorities.
The CRT hopes to export 10 million liters of the best tequila in the next five years, which would make China its second biggest market after the United States.
Tequila is distilled from the juice of the blue agave plant grown in Jalisco and parts of neighboring states, and is protected by a registered “Appellation of Origin.”