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1st shipment of Mexico's blue agave tequila leaves for China, signals push to enter big market

Mexico has shipped its first load of blue agave tequila to China in hopes of turning the Asian nation into the biggest market for the alcoholic beverage after the U.S.

The shipment of more than 70,000 bottles contains nearly 14,000 gallons of 100 percent blue agave tequila, considered the best quality.

A Friday ceremony in Guadalajara marked the departure of the $412,000 shipment for the Pacific port of Manzanillo. Mexico says the shipment will arrive in China in 25 to 35 days.

Chinese President Xi Jinping in June lifted the previous import ban on Mexico's 100 percent blue agave tequila. The methanol content was considered too high until Chinese authorities had a change of opinion after visiting with President Enrique Pena Nieto in Mexico.