Honey Prices Remain High, Despite Increased Imports, Numbers Show

YERUSHALAYIM -
Beekeepers collecting honey. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90 *
Beekeepers collecting honey. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Despite the addition of hundreds of tons of honey on the market, the price of the popular Yamim Nora’im condiment has shot up in recent months, the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) announced this week. Before Rosh Hashanah, the Finance Ministry called on Israeli consumers not to spend more than NIS 34 on honey – but the CBS said that this was next to impossible, since honey prices have risen 12.4 percent since Pesach.

The CBS survey of supermarkets and grocery stores found that the average cost of a 350-gram jar of honey was NIS 20.0 – with a kilo costing NIS 59.7, significantly more than the recommended price. While there were many specials in the larger markets, the average price of the product was still higher than it should be, the CBS said.

Before Rosh Hashanah, Finance Minister Moshe Kachlon signed an order to increase imports of honey. Under the order, duty free imports of honey are set to increase honey imports from 600 tons to 1,300 tons over the next year. The order is not expected to impact Israeli makers of honey products, Kachlon added.

Also signed was an order to increase the import of grape juice. A total of 100,000 more liters of bottled grape juice will be brought into Israel from the United States over the next year, duty free. The American grape juice will join 230,000 liters of European Union-sourced grape juice that already is imported into Israel tax-free. The imports from the U.S. will be in the form of bottles while the EU imports are largely containers, with bottles filled in Israel. The grape juice is imported as part of free-trade agreements between Israel and the EU countries. The imports from the U.S. will help ensure a larger supply and lower prices, said Kachlon.

“These steps are an extension of our policy of increasing supplies in order to lower the cost of living and to increase competition, Kachlon said. “We are taking many other steps to battle inflation and make things easier for Israelis.”