Lime Index, March 2014

Lime Index

The Lime Index

Will the snows never cease?  Or, alternatively, can we get some of this weather in July and August?

We in greater DC bemoan our tough 2013-14 winter, but think of how the poor Florida citrus feels.  Orange crops are getting hammered by frost, opening the door to Brazilian imports — unless we just stop drinking the stuff.*

O winter of our citrus discontent. There are no Florida lime crops to hammer, for better or worse. Recent local lime prices:

  • Hung Phat: 2/$1, pricier than normal and mediocre quality
  • H Mart:  a week ago 3/$1, this weekend 5/$2, pricier than normal and not great quality, in fact poor quality by their standards
  • Giant: 5/$2, mediocre quality
  • Rodman’s (Viers Mill/Randolph): 3/$1, good quality (not quite in Wheaton but we will travel for good limes)

Mexican lime prices are up 20% — turns out organized crime had been artificially depressing prices.  Or are they up 300%?  How many Zimbabwean dollars will a lime cost by the end of the year?  At least they are avoiding the dread yellow dragon plague.  This is important because the U.S. has no lime production anymore, and the vast majority of our limes come from Mexico.

Argentina lime exports are up, that can’t be bad (can it?).  No, it can’t be bad, but it could be false: the USDA January 2014 citrus world market report says Argentina lime exports are expected to drop due to frost.  Not to fear: Turkey and the EU are expected to “meet rising demand.”  As long as someone has the limes covered…

* The history of orange juice, in the context of advertising, is fascinating to me.  I think books have been written, but here’s a recent Atlantic article, and a more technical study.   And a couple of fabulous blasts from the past:

THIS much

THIS much

OJ, Oh Joy

Canned OJ, Oh Joy

3 responses to “Lime Index, March 2014

  1. Why would organized crime want to lower lime prices? Just wondering.
    Do you know the Anita Bryant story: when Florida orange juice became political.

  2. Maybe to sway the support of the local lime-consuming populace? Maybe the crime bosses were lime addicts? Obviously the producers didn’t like it.
    Anita Bryant rings a bell, will have to look it up.

  3. Pingback: Lime Index for Early Spring 2014: We’re Doomed? | Good Eatin' In Wheaton

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