Global consumption of Mexico's national spirit Tequila has increased fast, estimated to grow 3.2 percent annually by 2021, Mexico's National Tequila Industry Chamber said Friday.
The projection indicates the second biggest growth for a spirit on the global market in the near future, only behind whisky's 3.4 percent, according to the chamber's president Rodolfo Gonzalez.
"By 2021, global tequila consumption is forecast to reach 34.7 million nine-liter cases, compared with the more than 31 million cases consumed in 2017," Gonzalez told a press conference, citing the latest report by the London-based International Wine and Spirit Research.
Mexico exports some 1.2 billion U.S. dollars worth of tequila to about 100 different markets worldwide, led by the United States, Europe and South America, showed government figures.
North America is expected to continue with a highest demand in the coming years, and Colombia will become the fourth-largest export destination, said Gonzalez.
Mexico's tequila production is forecast to increase 3 percent in 2018 to reach 290 million liters, he said, adding there are enough sources of the spiky cactus-like agave plant to meet the industry's needs.
The tequila industry generates some 70,000 jobs and represents Mexico's fifth largest agricultural export, after beer, avocados, tomatoes and berries, according to the Agriculture Ministry.