Violence in Mexico Causes Dramatic Price Hike in Lemons, Limes

Violence in Mexico Causes Dramatic Price Hike in Lemons, Limes
By Alicia Neaves
NewsWest 9

If you've taken a trip down the grocery isles lately, you might have noticed the price of lemons and limes has skyrocketed. It isn't just locally, it's nationwide. The reason why just might shock you. 

"It's a lot more than usual," Kokes Bernal, Assistant Store Manager of Super Mercado in Midland, said.

From January to February, the price of lemons and limes rose 68%, which equals $3.50 for just two pounds. A year ago, it was only about 75 to 90 cents.

"About a 25% increase more than last year," Bernal said.

It's actually normal during this time of year for the price of limes and lemons to rise but the produce manager said this year the price has risen more than usual.

Restaurants are also feeling the heat; $62 for the price of one box of limes.

"It's especially drastic. We used to pay $26-$30 for a box. No one has told us why. Simply, the price of lemon went up and you need to pay that price," Diana Villarreal, Owner of La Herradura Mexican Restaurant, said.

It all goes back to our neighbors to the South. The Mexico Gulf Reporter Reads, "Michoacan lemons...very pretty...and expensive".

Michoacan is Mexico's top lime producer and that's who we get most of our limes from. For the past two months, the violence between drug cartels in Michoacan has wreaked havoc on the lemon and lime industry with some cartels, stealing up to $250,000 worth of limes. Which directly affects trade and prompts restaurants to cut back.

"Before, we would bring bowls filled with lemons to customers. But not now. We'll give them a slice or two if they request it," Villarreal said.