Israeli-made and price-controlled butter is still in short supply, as it has been for the entire spring and summer. In order to make up for the shortfall, the Agriculture Ministry has authorized the import of several tons of butter without import duty – but many are wondering when supplies of locally made butter will return.
The answer, according to Channel 12, is soon – as winter approaches, and milk supplies increase. Butter, according to the report, is on the bottom of the list of priorities for Israeli dairy producers – because the price is government-controlled. As such, the motivation to make more butter is low, and the milkfat needed for production of butter is steered to other, more profitable products.
Milk production in Israel is lower in the summer months, so there was a shortage of milkfat. With milk production increasing, it’s likely there will now be a surfeit of milkfat, more of which will be used for butter production, the report said.
Israeli importers say that increasing the amount of butter that can be imported without duty will not solve the problem; what’s needed is a complete opening of the butter market, to allow the import of as much butter as needed, tax-free.