Published On: Fri, Mar 14th, 2014

The low production of Mexican lemon leads to lack of supply and price increase

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If you like lime on your tacos, or a wedge in your Margarita or Cuba Libre. Be ready to pay more–much more.

During February the price of lemon rose by 68% in the country, according to a report from the federal government released on March 7.  Lemon producers agree that this is due to low production.

The violent events affecting Michoacán, Mexico’s main producer, the low production in Colima due to the affectation of the plague called HLB as well as the extremely strong rains in late 2013 in the states of Michoacan and Oaxaca contributed to this historical price increase.

The lemon producers of the state of Michoacan harvested approximately 1,400 tonnes last year, while in a normal situation the production would be of 2,000 to 2,500 tonnes. Michoacán contributes with 90% of the national lemon production, the rest comes from Colima and Oaxaca.

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Reality is that residents in Santa Ana, on the lime-growing region known as “Tierra Caliente” in the State of Michoacán, were helping to wage a secret war against “Los Caballeros Templarios” (Templar Knights), the main drug cartel there.

Though largely successful, the offensive  also waged havoc with the lime industry. Produce managers at local supermarkets declared that they’re accustomed to paying about $10 to $15 per case. Last week, they were paying $90, by far the highest price they’ve ever paid.

And it seems like it’s only going to go up.

Lime growers have been relegated to transporting their harvest by armed guard–but even that isn’t good enough. Just this week, armed robbers in Veracruz stole nearly 16 tons of limes estimated at $250,000 USD. And with the cartels on the run, expect more.

We’ve never seen anything like this before” the produce guy said under condition of anonymity. “And it’s going to get worse.”

According to the “Asociación de Citricultores del Valle de Apatzingán” (Citrus Producers Association of Apatzingán, Michoacán), the situation will go back to normal in about 30 days.

Meanwhile, here in Yucatán the price of lemon reached a historical high of $60 pesos per kilo, in the local “mercados” and supermarkets such as Soriana, Walmart or Aurrera.

Also, 5 cases (100 kilos) of lemon were stolen in the town of Oxkutzcab, located in the South of the State, and well known as the main fruit producer region of the state.

Thieves took the five 20-kilo cases of lemon from the back of a pick up truck that was parked on Calle 46 (between 51 & 53), downtown Oxkutzcab, while the driver was dining in a restaurant.

Sources:

 

Mexico Travel Care

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