Bad harvest in Mexico leads to U.S. lime shortage

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DENVER — A bad harvest year in Mexico is causing a run on limes in the United States, suddenly making the fruits a precious resource for owners of Mexican restaurants and other lime-loving businesses.

Heavy rains in Mexico damaged lime blossoms in late 2013, cutting lime exports to the U.S. by up to 70 percent. The price of a 40-pound carton has jumped from $25 in early February to $100 today, the New York Times reported.

Limes are currently so precious that there have been reports of Mexican lime sellers being robbed of the fruits at gunpoint. Crime cartels have even taken a supply-side interest, the Associated Press reported.

The shortage is likely to be temporary, according to USA Today. While grocery stores are charging more for limes, restaurants generally do not significantly raise prices based on a short-term price spike.

Mexico is the world’s largest producer and exporter of limes.

The lime shortage comes as mango prices are also climbing amid concerns over mangoes from India.

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