Mexico has published regulations that allow for the blending of up to 5.8% ethanol in fuel supply outside of the metropolitan areas of Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey.

The fuel specification, recently passed by the Energy Regulatory Commission of Mexico (CRE) was published in the Mexican federal register on August 29, US industry groups said in a statement. It will become effective 60 days after publication.

According to the announcement, this is the first time Mexico has adopted a policy on ethanol.

US organisations Growth Energy, the US Grains Council and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) welcomed the development but said there was more progress to be made as the measure did not cover the whole country.

"'Ethanol blended gasolines can reduce all criteria pollutants – carbon monoxide, ozone, particulates and toxics. As a result, we believe the Commission has erred in excluding ethanol use from the three most populous cities," said RFA head Bob Dinneen.