Egg shortage feared in Israel in coming weeks, as High Holy Days near

One supermarket chain warned that if the public reacts to reports of a possible lockdown by buying an extra carton of eggs while shopping, a shortage would result within a week or two.

Israel may suffer from an egg shortage in the coming weeks and during the High Holy Days and Sukkot, egg providers and supermarket chains warned, raising fears of a repeat of the severe egg shortage that occurred during the Passover holiday.
Retailers began expressing concerns after the Agriculture Ministry announced on Thursday that egg imports would be subject to an import quota of 20 million eggs ahead of the Jewish holidays that take place in the Hebrew month of Tishrei, which begins in early September, according to Israel Hayom.
"An examination conducted by the professionals in the ministry with the manufacturers, marketers and retail chains, shows that at this stage the market is balanced with eggs, and there are slight surpluses in some of the markets," the Agriculture Ministry announced.
Retailers stressed that the ministry's announcement didn't show the whole picture, as a 20% rise in egg demand has been recorded in the past two weeks compared to in June.
"There were egg surpluses after Passover, but those are finished," said one large supermarket chain to Israel Hayom. "At the moment there is a situation of uncertainty and almost every day there are reports of a possible lockdown."
The supermarket chain warned that if consumers respond to the reports by deciding "not to risk it" and buying two cartons of eggs instead of one, the market would "go into a spin," creating a shortage within a week or two. "20 million eggs is nothing, we need at least 40-50 million, if not even more," stressed the chain.
The 20 million egg quota was approved by the director-general of the Agriculture Ministry, Nachum Itzkovitz, who owns an egg quota of 180,000 eggs per year, earning about NIS 41,000 every year.
The legal adviser of the ministry, Efrat Eviani, gave Itzkovitz the permit to deal with matters concerning the egg industry, despite the fact that she herself can't deal with the industry as her father is director-general of the Egg and Poultry Board. Nevertheless, Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit approved the matter.
During the Passover holiday, the government subsidized the import of millions of eggs through emergency flights amid a nationwide shortage of eggs. Consumers rushed daily to find eggs and limits were placed on egg purchases in stores that were able to stock their shelves at all.
The Agriculture Ministry also increased its quota of duty-free imports for an additional 100 million eggs, at the time.