(Bloomberg) -- Soaring cilantro prices caused by drought are forcing taquerias to rethink their dishes and markets to ditch the herb.

Last week, a 5-kilogram (11-pound) bunch was selling at the capital’s largest wholesale market for 440 to 500 pesos ($24.26 to $27.57) on average, according to Economy Ministry data. That’s up from 110 pesos the first week of May. 

Most of the country’s cilantro supply comes from the central state of Puebla, which like much of the country has suffered from a lack of rain and record-breaking heat. The herb is a staple of Mexican cooking, from teeming street-food stands to haute restaurants. 

“In Puebla we had a problem with drought and hail that caused damage to the crop,” said Juan Carlos Anaya Castellanos, general director of the Agricultural Market Consulting Group. The average retail consumer is paying about four times what they were a month ago, he said.

Extreme weather exacerbated by climate change is affecting crop prices around the world, including staples such as wheat and soy. In Mexico, water shortages have driven up the price of other produce, including onions, broccoli and avocado, Anaya said.

Drought has been a factor in keeping inflation stubbornly above the central bank’s target, and analysts in a Bloomberg survey projected that price increases accelerated in early June. It’s looking less likely that the central bank will be able to lower borrowing costs at its meeting next week.

Mexican taquerias and restaurants are coping with the latest price hikes by substituting parsley or lettuce, Anaya said. Some small markets aren’t buying it at all.

Taqueria Gabriel, in the Cuauhtemoc neighborhood of Mexico City, is ordering 10 kilograms of cilantro every four or five days, about half as much as it usually does — and putting less on its tacos, according to manager Blas Juarez. 

“But because they’re tacos, we can’t do without it,” Juarez said before the Friday lunch rush.

--With assistance from Maya Averbuch.

(Updates with inflation picture in sixth paragraph)

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.