Israel: Heat wave causing veg shortages

The heat wave has caused vegetable shortages and prices will rise even higher towards the end of the week.

The per kilogram price of tomatoes in the open market today soared to NIS 11.80 while the prices of cucumbers and squash climbed to NIS 10.80 per kilogram. Vegetables of poorer quality were sold at prices in the NIS 7-9 per kilogram range.

The prices are taken from the Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem, although vegetables were also sold at similar prices in other markets. The supermarket chains today continued to sell vegetables at money-losing prices, because they attract customers.

The steep rise in vegetable prices is expected to increase towards the end of the week at peak shopping times for Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), and it is believed that vegetable prices will go on rising.

The high prices in the markets are a direct result of an increase in wholesale vegetable prices. In just one week, the wholesale price of tomatoes jumped from NIS 4.50 per kilogram to NIS 7.40-7.80 per kilogram, an increase of up to 75%. The price of cucumbers rose 25% during this time, from NIS 4 to NIS 5 per kilogram. The price of squash was already high a week ago, and remained stable at NIS 7.40-7.80 per kilogram.

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