Tequila exports were well up last year. Tequila exports were well up last year.

China develops a taste for tequila: exports up 38% last year

Nearly a million liters were shipped

Tequila has been winning acceptance in the Chinese market, driving up exports 38% last year compared to 2017.

According to the Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT), Mexico sent 940,061 liters of the beverage to China in 2018, compared to just 681,959 in 2017.

CRT president Miguel Ángel Domínguez Morales said the dramatic increase is the result of many years of consistent pressure.

“China is a great opportunity for us. First we had to fight to get China to give us the Tequila denomination of origin. We worked our way through nine years of paperwork and traveled there to see government officials.”

Despite the export numbers, the results fell short of the CRT’s expectations, which foresaw China moving up to occupy second place behind the United States as the most important export markets for tequila.

But Domínguez said hopes are high for strong future exports because of China’s taste for strong spirits.

“We have a good relationship with them and we’re looking into how we can push our products even more, because [China] is an incredible market . . . It’s growing at a good pace, and we see a lot of opportunity for growth over there.”

Tequila started its steady penetration of the Chinese market in 2013 when it shipped 524,960 liters after the Mexican and Chinese governments signed an agreement permitting Mexico to export tequila and pork.

Mexico exported 224 million liters of tequila to 120 countries in 2018, up 5.1% over 2017. The U.S. took 82% of that, or 183.8 million liters.

Source: El Economista (sp)

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