Landmark Tequila shipment en route to ChinaBy Amy Hopkins
China is set to receive its first shipment of 100% blue agave Tequila since a law banning the spirit from the country’s marketplace was lifted earlier this year.
A celebration in Guadalajara accompanied the loading of more than 70,000 bottles of the spirit, worth a reported $400,000, into containers which are due to arrive on the China in about one month.
In June, a law banning the importing and consumption of the high quality Tequila was thrown out by the Chinese government after President Xi Jinping signed a bilateral agreement with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in June – dubbed the ‘Tequila Pact’.
100% blue agave Tequila was first prohibited five years ago amid fears of its high methanol content and formed part of a government crackdown on fake alcohol.
Tequila producers hope to tap into the lucrative Chinese market and fill the diminishing space occupied by Scotch whisky – something which has become more apparent since Pernod Ricard announced the spirit’s decline its recent financial results.
The head of the CNIT, the spirits main trade association in Mexico, said: “We are expecting to export 10 million litres of Tequila to China in five years, and make China the second largest market after the United States.”
Only tequila produced in Jalisco, Michoacan, Guanajuato, Nayarit and Tamaulipas from blue agave is certified as authentic.
Brands which produce 100% blue agave Tequila include Patrón, Herradura and Jose Cuervo.