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Satuday, March 15, 2014

Lime prices go 'through the roof'; imports considered

     limesTijuana's El Mexicano newspaper on Saturday ran an editorial about skyrocketing prices for limes titled "Importation of Limes." It quoted Mexico's federal consumer agency as saying the price per kilo had risen to nearly 80 pesos per kilo in northern Mexico (nearly $2.74 a pound) and to 70 pesos in Mexico City ($2.40 a pound).

     Reasons for the price increase included that farmers in Michoac√°n (the state produces 90% of the country's limes) are only harvesting the product three days a week in part because of the security situation there and that bad weather caused crop losses in Colima, Guerrero, and Oaxaca, teh editorial said.
Update, March 19: U-T San Diego quotes a Mexican lime industry group as saying the security situation is a factor in the price increase only in that lime distributors have unscrupulously cited it as a reason to gouge consumers.

      The editorial reported that officials are saying they expect the increase to be temporary, but still are considering allowing lime imports in to bring prices down and meet demand. The editorial said a "historic" decision to allow such imports could be a good idea.

      The editorial was accompanied by a cartoon titled "Por los cielos" involving a lime and an astronomer with a telescope. Por los cielos literally means "in the heavens" but in this context means lime prices have gone "through the roof."
The editorial, and cartoon (PDF).

Update, March 18: Story on yellow dragon (huangonbling) bacteria causing major damage to Mexico's lime crop, El Mexicano (PDF).

Update, March 19: U-T San Diego's Sandra Dibble takes a comprehensive look at the lime price situation. Her story reports that U.S. prices have also risen, and that 98% of limes consumed in the U.S. are imported from Mexico.