LIVESTOCK exports to Mexico are set to increase with 20,000 first and second cross ewes to be shipped from Australia to the state of Hidalgo.
And WA will have a big role to play in the sheeps' export, to be conducted by Elders.
Elders International marketing manager Simon Mainprize said 50pc of the shipment would be sourced from WA.
"Mexico has always been an important market for WA," Mr Mainprize said.
"WA is a fantastic backstop for Mexico and they like the quality of the livestock."
Mr Mainprize said the Mexican market had opened further because of BSE in the US and Canada.
He said loading would start from Fremantle on March 13 and head to Portland in Victoria for the rest of the shipment, which includes 500 cattle.
Elders live export coordinator Paul Keenan said a Mexican delegation had visited WA three weeks ago.
The delegation was upbeat, he said.
Elders is considering a similar shipment to Mexico next year.
Federal Agriculture Minister Peter McGauran said Mexico held more potential for WA, especially if the trade relationship between Australia and Mexico grew stronger.
"Hopefully, the Hidalgo deal represents the start of a long-standing relationship between Australian livestock exporters and Mexico," Mr McGauran said.
"There has already been interest in Mexico for further imports of Australian sheep, as well as our dairy and beef cattle."
Last year Mexico accounted for 7pc of Australian mutton exports and 5pc of lamb exports.
A free trade agreement (FTA) between Australia and Mexico is also on the cards, as the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has called for submissions on the possible FTA.
Australia is subject to tariffs on meat and livestock when trading with Mexico, a factor the FTA would relieve.
Mexico is an important market for Australian sheepmeat exports, especially for low value cuts.