Bad weather led to a shriveled Australian citrus supply this season, forcing citrus-mongers to hike up their prices and import the fruit from abroad to meet demand. A lemon shortage has caused lemon prices in Australia to increase more than 300%, making the citrus fruits more expensive than both mangoes and pineapples.
Normally lemons cost about $4 per kilogram in Australia. But last year’s heat wave drastically reduced domestic supply. As a result, everyone has started relying on lemons imported from the US, paying as much as $13 per kilogram.
Farmers rely on stockpiled produce, international trade relationships and hydroponic growing operations to keep produce supplies consistent. But despite these efforts to prevent produce panics, bad weather sometimes still leaves producers with no other choice than importing fruit from across the globe.
Thehustle.co reports that in places like Australia that are relatively geographically isolated, price spikes are even more common: Just last year, an Australian avocado shortage caused prices to spike 4x, raising the price of a single avocado to $9.