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Nationwide lime crisis takes toll on businesses in the Four Stat - KOAM TV 7

Nationwide lime crisis takes toll on businesses in the Four States

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A nationwide lime crisis is taking its toll on businesses in the Four States.
Some have quit ordering new cases and have completely run out of limes altogether.
At the beginning of the year, owners of Casa Montez in Joplin were able to order limes at $29 a case, but that cost has now risen to more than $100.
"We had to quit ordering," said Nonie Lagana, General Manager of Casa Montez.  "We started using lemons."
Lagana says her food suppliers tell her the price increase is caused by a variety of factors.
"Mexico had a bad winter, hurricanes, the drug cartel, I mean just everything has come into play on that," she said.
Lagana says the restaurant has lime juice, but no limes on hand, a shortage she felt the most on Cinco de Mayo.
"Most people will drink a Corona with a lime, there are some of our food items that we put a lime on, all margaritas have limes on the side of the glass, but we haven't been able to do that," Lagana said.
Grocery shoppers say they have felt the impact as well.
"We were celebrating Cinco de Mayo and I came up for some limes and lemons and they were 89 cents a piece for a lime," said Toni Gazaway, Joplin resident.
Employees at Save-A-Lot say the size of limes is also changing.  While they used to be the same size as a lemon, they are now generally the size of a golf ball.
Employee Mandy Myers said last year, limes were larger and sold 4 for a dollar, but in recent weeks, prices for the smaller limes were as high as 99 cents a piece.
Save-A-Lot finally saw a decrease this week, and expects prices to drop again next week.
"They are going back down, but I haven't noticed the size increase just yet," Myers said.
As for Lagana, she hopes the price per case will eventually drop below $100 so that she can reorder.
Until then many businesses like hers will continue to squeeze by with lemons, but no limes.
"It's a crisis when you can't afford it any longer," Lagana said.
Data from the US Food and Drug Administration predicts a nationwide price drop, as lime production increases during the summer.
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