A heatwave in Southern California’s major lemon growing region this month caused a loss of lemons and a squeeze in supplies, which has driven up wholesale prices about 40 percent or more in some markets.

“This demand exceeds supply situation will last until September/October at least.” said Joel Nelsen, president of the California Citrus Mutual, a citrus producers trade group.

Terminal prices of fresh lemons in Los Angeles have risen about 40 percent or more since June 1, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. The price for cartons of lemons (sizes 95-115) at wholesale was $36 to $39 on June 1 and as of last Friday was $52 to $55.

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