The retail price of lemons has soared by 47% over the past year following poor weather in the major citrus-producing regions.

A single lemon now costs 28p in UK supermarkets, according to data from The Grocer Price Index. In November the average price was 19p, while prices as low as 15p were seen in some retailers in April 2007.

The sharp price rise has been blamed on a global lemon shortage brought about by poor citrus harvests. Last year Argentina's fruit-growing regions were hit by severe frost, which caused exports of some crops to fall. Weather problems were also reported in South Africa and Spain.

The supply shortage has been exacerbated by rising demand for a range of fresh produce, including citrus, from China and Russia.

Some importers predicted that supplies of lemons would run out by the end of next month, and said lemons would be in short supply until the European supply comes back on stream in September.