MEXICO CITY, March 25 (Xinhua) -- The value of Mexico's mezcal exports rose to 26.8 million U.S. dollars in 2016, marking a startling 35 percent rise on the previous year, the Ministry of Agriculture announced Saturday.
The statement stated that exports of the alcohol distilled from the agave cactus, the origins of which go back to the pre-Hispanic era, rose by more than 7 million U.S. dollars as new markets opened up.
The majority of its expansion also came from the U.S., which imported 12.1 million U.S. dollars in 2015, although France seems to be acquiring a growing taste for the drink, going from 85,000 U.S. dollars in 2015 to 757,000 U.S. dollars in 2016.
In total, mezcal was exported to 38 markets last year, including Asian markets such as China, Japan, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, read the statement.
The total volume of mezcal exported also grew by 30.6 percent year-on-year to reach 2.7 million liters.
Eight states across Mexico have the right to produce labelled mezcal, with the southern state of Oaxaca being considered the birthplace of Mexico's iconic drink.