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JAZ

The high price of limes

29 posts in this topic

Maybe it's just here in the Atlanta area, but in the last few weeks the price of limes has skyrocketed. Granted, the price of both lemons and limes fluctuates throughout the year, but I can't remember the last time limes were so expensive. My supermarket now has limes at 3/$2.00. The big bag that used to sell for under $3 is $5.49 now.

Is it like this all over? Is there a reason for the price hike that I haven't heard about?


Janet A. Zimmerman, aka "JAZ"
Manager
jzimmerman@eGullet.org
eG Ethics signatory
Author, The Healthy Pressure Cooker Cookbook and All About Cooking for Two

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I am in Southern California so we get our crop plus the Mexico one. I am continually astounded by the enormous price variations. I can usually forage or beg some from local trees, but the prices in the market make no sense. On the good side I can often get a bag of 8 or 10 juicy ones for 99 cents from the 99 Cents Store while a block away at the market they are between 50 cents and a dollar each. That said, I have not noticed any more recent price craziness than usual.

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Limes also jumped up in price in NYC(UES). was 3 for $1 for good limes and now it is 2 for $3 for not so good limes.

no change in lemons 3 for $1(street carts0

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I'm in SoCal. I usually get my limes from Trader Joe's. They *had* been about $1.99 for a one-pound bag (usually 5-7 limes...). Which is a steal compared to the mega-marts, where they're like 50 cents a piece, and have been forever. Lowest I'd seen them at the supers was 3 for a buck. About 2 or so months ago, TJ's price went up to almost $3.00 per pound bag. They've now come back down to I think $2.49, which is still better than the supers, but WTF.....?

I vaguely remember hearing something about California's cold, wet winter affecting produce prices, and Florida had some deep freezes as well, so maybe that's it. I can't speak for produce, but know my roses look like crap this year because the weather's been so cold and dreary, and the jacarandas are *VERY* late, so maybe it was the weather that did it.


--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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I always hit up either the Mexican market where they're always cheaper than anywhere else (usually about 6/$1) or see if there's any bags of limes in the Dollar Bags at the produce market in Reading Terminal Market if I happen to be there first.


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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I think it was those deep cold snaps in FL that did it.

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I always hit up either the Mexican market where they're always cheaper than anywhere else (usually about 6/$1) or see if there's any bags of limes in the Dollar Bags at the produce market in Reading Terminal Market if I happen to be there first.

I agree Katie.

Limes and Lemons are both quite expensive in my grocery stores. I also hit the ethnic markets. Limes at 4-6/$1.00 are common. I sometimes find lemons at produce stands

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I've noticed the same thing here in central New York, but for a time (around Easter) I couldn't find them at all-- not even at Wegman's! I blame it on the rough winter in the US, and perhaps on the earthquake in Chile as well.


Corinna Heinz, aka Corinna

Check out my adventures, culinary and otherwise at http://corinnawith2ns.blogspot.com/

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Fifty cents a pop out here...tiny and blotchy.

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Almost all Persian (Bearss) limes are imported, mostly from Mexico. This has been true since 1992, when Hurricane Andrew demolished Florida's lime groves. Ironically, Persian limes were established in Florida in the wake of the heavy hurricane season of 1926, which wiped out most of the Mexican (Key) lime trees. The USDA doesn't even track US lime production any more.

Most likely we're just between harvests in Mexico; reports say that a good crop is on the way (maybe as early as this week). Quality (though not size at first) should improve and prices moderate.


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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The prices we've been seeing, at least in Philadelphia, are in line with past years. In mid-spring they frequently go up to 2/$1 at the Reading Terminal Market, which is where they are now. In a matter of weeks it will probably go to 3/$1, then 5/$1 and, occasionally when we're really lucky, 10/$1.

Here's are excerpts from an April 20 article in a trade pub, The Produce News. Keep in mind that it can takes weeks for what's happening on the producer level to shake down to retail:

Spring has brought good weather and a promise of increased supplies of onions, mangos and limes, but for each of those crops, to one degree or another, supply is still outstripped by demand, and strong markets prevail.

Richard Ruiz, president and chief executive officer of Ruiz Sales in Edinburg, TX, said that warm spring weather in Mexico was bringing on the Persian lime crop, and he expected supplies to jump as April turns into May. "We've moved a lot of limes, which had high prices this winter. But in May and June, supplies will increase and the market will come down."

Ronnie Cohen, vice president of sales for Vision Import Group LLC in River Edge, NJ, agreed with that timing prediction. He said that the early-season Mexican crop was running well behind volume numbers from last year, but by the end of April and the beginning of May, regular seasonal fluctuation will start to change that.


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Yesterday in our little local grocery store in a tiny Ontario town called Omemee, $.59 for a pretty small lime.


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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Las Vegas Latin markets are offering the standard 6 for $1 for Mexican Key Limes.


Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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Yesterday's price at SuperWalMart: 64 cents each. 15 miles away, at the asian supermarket: about 30 cents each. I always see cheaper lime prices at ethnic groceries over mainstream supermarkets.

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A bag of about 2 dozen limes for $2.79 last week at the Stop & Shop in Connecticut.

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3/$2 at my local Key Foods...

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10 for $1 at both my local markets this week (Latino area of Chicago). Come on by, we'll make daiquiris!

Jen

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I've been wondering about this too! Limes doubled in price a few months ago at the local Kroger grocery store, from 3/$1 to $.60/each. And when I hit the restaurant supply store (we go through a lot of citrus), the 5-lb bag was over $9, which is about double what I remember. Doesn't look like we've found the definitive cause (Weather issues? National conspiracy?), but it does seem to be a nation-wide trend.

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And.....voila !

Just like that, from last week to this, the 1 pound bag of limes at Trader Joe's dropped from over $3 each to it's more normal (normal at least in my memory, such as it is...) price of $1.49 each.

The one pound bag I got today had 7 decent sized limes, and the 2 I used this afternoon/evening were plenty juicy.

Literally....last week was over 3 bucks a pound for hard, shriveled little rocks, that yielded a pathetic amount of juice, even after priming in the microwave. Today, half price that price for a pound of lovely specimens.

Go figure. :hmmm:


--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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Limes were still 3/$2 at Giant here in the Philly suburbs as of a few days ago. Not terribly juicy, either.

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10 for $1 at my local mexican grocer in the Mission, SF.


PS: I am a guy.

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Get ready, lime prices are about to go up again. USDA has barred the import of Mexican limes into any state that has commerical citrus crops. The Mexican limes apparently are infected with a disease that is easily transmitted tree to tree and could inflict some serious damage to citrus growers. There is also some debate as to whether or not the disease has actually been controlled and the USDA was meeting yesterday (Dec. 17th) to review the status and decide whether or not to leave the embargo in place or lift it.

This information came from my produce company in a special release they sent to customers

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