May 14, 2022 12:04 pm

Why did the price of lemons rise so much in Mexico?

The lime known as lemon in Mexico, rose to sky-high prices for the beginning of the year. Fruit vendors and restaurants are alarmed by the increase that has reached three dollars a kilogram when last year it cost 78 cents; around 153% more than in November 2021.

even the president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador attacked prices yesterday in his “morning” conference arguing that, after his recovery from his Covid contagion, tried not to put so much lemon in his tea “because it is expensive”.

According to the Federal Consumer Protection Office (Profeco), the Colima variety is sold in Mexico City at a chilling price of up to 79.90 Mexican pesos per kilo (US$4); For its part, the Persian variety reached 69 pesos (US$3.40) per kilo in some supermarkets.

The increase is mainly due to the drop in production. Since the end of 2021, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the federal government warned that in November the production of this fruit fell by 4%.

“It is a factor for the increase in the price of citrus. Michoacán generates 24% of the national harvest. Its production decreased 48.2%. That means 66,166 tons less (…) At the national level, the drop is 12,280 tons less compared to November”, is mentioned in the report of the National Consumer Price Index in December of last year.

One of the main factors of the drop in production was inflation in 2021, which shot up to 7.36%, the highest level in Mexico in the last 21 years. This affected agricultural production like the rest of the items of the national economy, especially the agricultural and energy sectors.

According A study of the National Council for Research, Science and Technology (Conacyt) published in the Mexican Journal of Agricultural Sciences, climate change and lack of technology are of the main reasons for the decline in citrus production.

David Lozano, a researcher at the Center for Multidisciplinary Analysis of the Faculty of Economics at UNAM, indicates that there are two other incidents that caused this increase. “In Colima and Michoacán, the two main producing states, in addition to the effects of frost and climate change, there is an interference of organized crime where farmers cannot distribute the product so easily”, he tells the newspaper El País.

“It is a fact that climate change is already here, and that famine is no longer defined as food shortages, but rather as the inability of the population to acquire products at overpriced prices”, adds the researcher.

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