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Study: Fruits, vegetables cheaper in Israel than in US, UK, France, Germany
By sharon udasin
05/02/2014
Bananas, at NIS 5.46 per kilogram in Israel and NIS 3.60 per kg in the US is an exceptional finding of the survey.
 
Most fruit and vegetable prices in Israel are lower than those in the United States and in some European nations, the Agriculture Ministry revealed on Wednesday.

From April through June 2013, the Agriculture Ministry’s division of research, economics and strategy conducted comparative studies of fresh produce prices in Israel and the US, using the Bank of Israel exchange rate from the second quarter of 2013 – NIS 3.6262 to $1. The ministry used data from StoreNext in Israel and the United States Department of Agriculture in the US.

Excluding bananas, which were NIS 5.46 per kilogram in Israel and NIS 3.60 per kg. in the US, all of the 11 fruits and vegetables surveyed in America and Israel were cheaper in the latter than in the former.

Tomatoes were 341 percent more expensive in the US than in Israel – NIS 14.47 per kg. vs NIS 3.28 per kg. – while onions were 149.3% more expensive in the US and peppers were 115.7% more expensive.

Carrots were similar in price in both countries – roughly NIS 2.88 per kg. in the US and NIS 2.85 per kg. in Israel.

For fruits, the biggest gaps in prices occurred in clementines and peaches, which were 108% and 97% more expensive in the US than in Israel respectively.

Another recent survey comparing prices of Israeli fruits and vegetables to those in Europe took a look at rates in France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Employing data from StoreNext in Israel, Market Intelligence Service in the UK, Réseau des Nouvelles des Marchés in France and Ami Verbraucher Preise in Germany, the ministry drew comparisons based on Bank of Israel exchange rates for the corresponding time periods.

The survey results indicated that most fruit and vegetable prices in Israel are lower than those in the UK, France and Germany. Only onions, which were NIS 3.75 per kg. in Israel and NIS 3.15 per kg. in Germany, proved to be more expensive here than in one of the three European nations.

Prices in France ranged from between 10.8% higher for clementines to 207% higher for cucumbers than those in Israel, while in the UK, prices ranged from between 9.1% higher for bananas to 316% higher for avocados than those in Israel.

Aside from the onions, which cost 15.9% less in Germany than in Israel, most of the other fruits and vegetables there were significantly more expensive in Europe.

The biggest differential was found in the prices of tomatoes, which were 260% higher in Germany than in Israel, costing at the time NIS 10.84 per kg. in Germany and NIS 3.01 per kg. in Israel.

Also in the agricultural sector on Wednesday, the Economy Ministry changed the criteria for importing milk powder and butter duty-free, in order to encourage more competitiveness in the dairy sector, the ministry said. According to the new directive, small and medium players in the dairy industry will be granted priority in the government quotas for importing these products without paying import taxes.
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