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Lime Squeeze

Poor Weather, Citrus Tree Disease Blamed for Lime Crop Shortage

By Amanda Brodhagen,

Where’s the lime in my drink?

That’s a question that you might be asking when you’re at the bar this summer. Interestingly, as we head into prime patio season, there is a lime shortage in North America - and it’s putting the squeeze on restaurants and bars.

Prices for the green citrus fruit have been jacked up. Cases of limes are being sold for as much as $200, while only a few months ago they were selling for about $30 to $40.

Bad weather destroyed much of the lime crop in Florida, and now the next closest growing area for limes, Mexico, is experiencing similar problems. Unfavorable growing conditions in Mexico and a citrus tree disease (called huanglongling) are all factors contributing to the scarcity. And to make matters worse, a Mexican drug cartel has reportedly taken advantage of the situation, driving prices up even further.

Some restaurants and bars in Canada and the U.S. have begun switching up their drink recipes, wherever possible, and in some cases offering lemons as a substitute.  

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