Mexico's tequila producers have enjoyed a strong start to the year, according to recent figures.

The CRT regulatory body said yesterday (14 June) that the country shipped 59m litres of tequila to over 100 countries in the first five months of 2006. The figure represents an increase on the corresponding period a year earlier of 22.4%.

Of this total, the agency noted that 37.9m litres were shipped in bottles, with the remaining 21.1m litres being sold in bulk.

The CRT also said that 5% less blue agave cactus has been used in the period than was used in the same five months in 2005.