KFOX14 - kfoxtv.com - Search Results The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available. Lime prices at all-time highSAN ANTONIO Restaurants across the country may be noticing a key ingredient missing from their margarita, guacamole, water or tea: limes.Wholesalers and local restaurant managers say prices for the small citrus fruit has rocketed to an all-time high during the last month, mostly stemming from various climate factors. Some restaurants in the Alamo City say they've been forced to make adjustments, including garnishing margaritas, water and tea with lemons rather than limes or only offering the sour fruit upon request.Even Taco Cabana chimed in Tuesday, warning its followers on Twitter: A nat'l lime shortage means we're forced to temporarily serve lemons only on our Salsa Bar. Don't panic, the margaritas will still be lime.In the Tex-Mex world, this is a big deal.Prices for limes are at a historical high, said Paul Gonzalez, Jr., a produce buyer for River City Produce, one of the largest produce and food service wholesalers in San Antonio. A case of limes in the summer normally runs about $4 and that can get up to $25 in the winter. Prices right now have reached $95 or $100 for a case And when the market goes up, the quality goes down.Gonzalez said the majority of limes in Texas are imported from Mexico and a mixture of unseasonably cold weather, hurricane and storm systems and drought has contributed much of the price increase.Between the wind and cold weather, the bloom sets in many farms were knocked off the trees, causing a large gap in production, Gonzalez said. Now (to compensate), many of the Mexican farmers are harvesting smaller fruit too early that will likely continue the cycle into the summertime.Keith Ludwick, a manager at Acenar, said most of the restaurant's vendors don't even have limes, and if they do, the prices are unbelievably high. He said the cartels in Mexico have increasingly made exports from the country more difficult, which he believes also plays a role.Prices were creeping up the last month but over the last few weeks the spike has been outrageous, said Ludwick, who said the restaurant has been garnishing beverages, including margaritas, with lemons instead but that a change to food items such as guacamole is a last resort.People have a certain expectation of what the food is going to taste like and the last thing we want to do is change that, Ludwick said.Dr. Eric P. Thor with Arizona State University's Agribusiness School told KUT that millions more people around the world are now demanding limes at the same time as production is falling.It's very simple, Thor told KUT . As the world population expands and supply chains become longer and more complex, we find ourselves in a position where [the place] where [produce] is produced and where it's consumed is changing very rapidly.David Flores, who has bartended at Rita's on the River Walk for two years, called the increase in price and decrease in availability frustrating for him as well as customers. The restaurant is only offering limes upon request, he said.People definitely notice (not having a lime with their drink), they just don't know why they often think we forgot, Flores said, who added this is the first time he's seen the market change this quickly.Flores typically slices two-and-a-half buckets of limes for a shift and now he only does a fifth of that.We are having to use lime concentrate (for the margaritas) and that takes away from the uniqueness of our restaurant using everything fresh, he said.Rosario's, a sister restaurant to Acenar, switched from lemons to limes a couple weeks ago after seeing roughly a 50 percent increase, said Manager Mario Luna.Gonzalez said he wouldn't be surprised if some limes in grocery stores rise to nearly a dollar each and bars could employ a surcharge for dressing beer with lime and salt.It should make for a very interesting Cinco de Mayo, he said.