Spiking lime prices threaten salsa

Limes that have been imported from Columbia are boxed at SA Mex produce on March 26, 2014 in Miami, Florida.

Your margarita or mojito -- or any dish featuring limes -- is going to be more expensive. The price of limes has risen every month in 2014, more than doubling since 2013. 

That's because more than 90 percent of the  limes we enjoy in this country are grown and sold in Mexico, and regional violence in that country has slowed the supply of the citrus. Add to that a mild drought, a disease that some forecast will jump to fields in California and across the United States, and you have lime producers worried.

The San Antonio Express-News reports local buyers are buying cases of limes for $100 each; prices usually range from $4 - $25 per case depending on the season. Consumers, especially those enjoying limes in restaurants and bars, may end up seeing the prices passed on to their checks.

To put these prices into a bit of context, in 2014, Mexico’s minimum wage was raised, slightly, to near $5 a day. Meaning, at that rate, it would take 20 days for someone earning the minimum wage in Mexico to afford a case of limes in Texas.

About the author

Margarita Noriega is an editor with Marketplace's digital team, based in New York.

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