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Lime Shortage Affects Cocktail Bars, Restaurants...and You


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#1 weinoo

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 04:24 AM

So the latest shortage to hit consumers is the versatile lime. Used by restaurants and bars, the price increase is starting to make itself felt.

 

Even in Mexico, the issue is dire. According to CNN Mexico, prices in the country have spiked to almost 80 pesos ($6) a kilo, so its no surprise that prices here are bad. In a survey of friends across the country, prices have gone from a low of about $25 a case to the current market price of $135 a case.

This has hit bars hard.

 

From a story on Eater:

Poor weather in Colima is partly to blame for the shortage, destroying a majority of this year's crop. But a bigger issue is ongoing violence between Mexican drug cartels and the farmers they've been strong-arming, who've begun to fight back. Harvest and export of limes has gotten caught up in the mix, and the problem has filtered down to local bars, who are scrambling to adjust. Julio Bermejo, whose family has been churning out Tommy's margaritas since 1965, says it's the worst lime problem he's seen in his career. "I have never seen it this bad for so long."

 

And it also appears there a citrus disease affecting the lime tree. from the LA times:

 

A variety of factors have contributed to a shortage of limes in the United States that has more than doubled prices over this time last year. And one of the most important is an outbreak of a citrus disease in the prime lime-growing area of Colima, Mexico – and that’s a problem that could affect California as well in the near future.

http://www.latimes.c...y#ixzz2yIEBNkWk

 

 

 

What will we all do?  Would you ever resort to using chemical substitutes that mimic the flavor and acid of a lime?


Edited by weinoo, 08 April 2014 - 04:24 AM.

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#2 Paul Bacino

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 05:52 AM

maybe thats why I didnt find a bag at Costco this weekend


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#3 weinoo

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 06:40 AM

I just got back from my local "super" market, Their price for limes has always been 4 or 5 for $1; when on sale, 8 or 10 for the same price.

 

Today, they were 5 for $3.


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#4 lindag

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 06:47 AM

I bought 2 limes a couple days ago for 93-cents each.  Unfortunately I'll have to pay the price since cocktail hour calls.



#5 Paul Bacino

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 07:06 AM

I just got back from my local "super" market, Their price for limes has always been 4 or 5 for $1; when on sale, 8 or 10 for the same price.

 

Today, they were 5 for $3.

Yep!!

 

Got 10 for $6  _  I remember my wife saying why did you get them here for that price.

 

So I bought mine to make a shrimp ceviche--  Lime juice, Tomitillo, cilantro, habanero, serrano, chive and avacado s and p

 

The limes were pretty dry--so yeah--I reached for the Real Lime Juice in the plastic container ( but just a little )  :(


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#6 johnelle

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 07:51 AM

Just Google "lime shortage cartels."  The WSJ has some really interesting in-depth pieces on what's going on in Mexico which is where the lime shortage in the US originates.



#7 Hassouni

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 08:18 AM

Whatever I end up doing, it will NOT be making mojitos and daiquiris with lemon, as they do in Lebanon. Ick.


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#8 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 11:08 AM

At Trader Joe's the price for a bag of organic limes (approx 6 limes) used to be $1.99. I think I paid $3 last week (I bought a couple of bags to make daiquiris). Yesterday they were not in stock, but for a Monday that is pretty typical as they were in the process of restocking.



#9 choux

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 11:31 AM

My local store has them for $1.49 each!!! Costco has not had them for the last 3 visits either. I have been segmenting one lime into 8 bits for my G&T's.



#10 Anna N

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 12:08 PM

Forty cents each at my local discount supermarket just now.
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#11 Hassouni

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 12:33 PM

Forty cents each at my local discount supermarket just now.

 

Not bad, you could probably hawk them here under the newly-allowed classified rules and make at least 50% profit on them!


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#12 Lisa Shock

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 03:23 PM

I think I can stand to just drink other drink types for a while. Someone just gave me the last of the season's grapefruits, maybe ten pounds worth, so, for me anyway, it's gonna be grapefruit daiquiris and greyhounds for a while.



#13 OliverB

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 03:34 PM

I just paid a bit under 1$ each for small ones. I only use them for cooking though, and can certainly live without them, there are other recipes to try :-)


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#14 Norm Matthews

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 09:05 AM

This was part of an article in today's Kansas City Star:  "The problem centers in Mexico.....Bad weather and disease cut production earlier this year.  Meanwhild drug cartels in the state of Michoacan are demanding extortion payments from lime growers and have taken control of a distribution center where they sell their limes, ...



#15 Anna N

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 07:08 PM

image.jpg

Today. If you can read the sign you will see these are MEXICAN limes. Go figure. It doesn't add up.
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#16 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 08:51 PM

It looks to me like someone drew a slash mark on the sign, Anna.  I can't wait to see what my local lime prices will be at the store tomorrow.

 

And I don't know about anybody else but I got my order in for half a pound of Mexican vanilla beans tonight.



#17 brinza

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 11:28 AM

At Trader Joe's the price for a bag of organic limes (approx 6 limes) used to be $1.99. I think I paid $3 last week (I bought a couple of bags to make daiquiris). Yesterday they were not in stock, but for a Monday that is pretty typical as they were in the process of restocking.

I just bought a bag at Trader Joe's in Pittsburgh last week and I can't remember exactly what I paid, but it didn't seem out of the ordinary.  Could be a different story the next visit, however.  I'll have to see what Bottom Dollar is charging, if they have them at all.


Edited by brinza, 10 April 2014 - 11:28 AM.

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#18 brinza

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 11:29 AM

It looks to me like someone drew a slash mark on the sign, Anna. 

The sign does also say, "or .29 ea"


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#19 Anna N

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 11:45 AM

It looks to me like someone drew a slash mark on the sign, Anna.  I can't wait to see what my local lime prices will be at the store tomorrow.
 
And I don't know about anybody else but I got my order in for half a pound of Mexican vanilla beans tonight.


Nope. No slash. This was the price. 4 for 99 cents or 29 cents each.
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#20 Hassouni

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 12:38 PM

Quick, get your arbitrage hat on. I'll take a dozen!



#21 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 07:38 PM

I reluctantly purchased another four limes this evening for $5.00.  However I just noticed my store sells US limes, not Mexican.  Duh.



#22 Anna N

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 07:07 PM

image.jpg

Earlier today. One of our more upmarket stores. Also Mexican limes.
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#23 Hassouni

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 07:26 PM

69 cents a pop at Whole Foods in DC today, which seems pretty normal. May check the suburban ethniquerias this weekend.


Edited by Hassouni, 11 April 2014 - 07:27 PM.


#24 Smithy

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 08:14 PM

2/$1 along the Texas Gulf Coast, today.


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#25 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 08:42 PM

49 cents a piece at TJ's today for conventional limes (organic limes not available).

#26 cakewalk

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 09:55 PM

How am I supposed to make my lemon curd? I always use a bit of lime juice. (From the Sherry Yard recipe, it's the best.) Now imagine it spread on matzah. Really quite good, especially with some strawberries. But it needs the limes. Oh dear. Doctor! She put the lime in the coconut she drank them both up ...

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#27 BeeZee

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 04:46 PM

Limes $1.25 EACH today at supermarket. Yikes.
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#28 annachan

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 10:00 PM

I've been feeling this pain since moving to Australia. It's not unusual for limes to be $1.50/$2.00 each....



#29 Hassouni

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 11:49 PM

My $0.69 limes made a pair of nice Navy Grogs and a truly killer Last Word - I think I can deal with that  :wink:



#30 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 03:18 PM

$1.50 today.

 

And rather scrofulous at that.