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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Limes bite back, as prices rise 2,400%

Palm Beach Post Web Staff

Mojitos, margaritas, key lime pie, ceviche… even the lime wedge on your Corona, all are at risk. Is the lime-pocalypse far behind?

About 98% of limes consumed in the U.S. come from Mexico. But our neighbors to the south are feeling seriously squeezed by a shortage, according to NPR.

Mexican growers blame too much rain, and a bacteria for the poor crop. There, limes are selling for 50 pesos a kilo — about $1.75 a pound, or three times the normal price.

U.S. stores are charging an average of 53 cents for one lime, compared with 21 cents per, last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“This year, we are in unchartered waters with limes, says Raul Millan, a New Jersey-based importer. “I’ve never seen limes at these prices.”

Millan can recall when a 40-pound box of Mexican Persian limes went for as little as $4. This week, he paid 25 times that much.

“I’m surprised that demand is still there, even at $100 a box,” he says.

In Mexico, growers and exporters report that the “green gold” limes are a hot item for thieves.

To get the most for your money, choose limes that feel heavy for their size, and are smooth and shiny. They should have a little “give” when you squeeze them, indicating they are juicy. They don’t need to be dark green; yellowish limes are just as tart and juicy.

Source: Palm Beach post,Victoria Malmer

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