Strong shekel hits matza exports

Export Institute: Matza exports to the US fell 31% to $7 million, accounting for 56% of total matza exports.

The Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute reports a 20% drop in matza exports for Passover this year compared with 2010. Most matza exports are in January and February.

Mazta exports in December-January fell to $6.7 million from $8.4 million in the corresponding months a year before.

The Export Institute director Avi Hefetz said, "It turns out that the erosion in the shekel-dollar exchange rate has not passed over matza. Higher prices for flour and the fall in the shekel-dollar exchange rate affected matza exports to the US and the industry as a whole."

According to the Export Institute, matza exports to the US fell 31% to $7 million, accounting for 56% of total matza exports. Matza exports to France fell 13% to $652,000, exports to Italy fell 3.4% to $1.17 million, and exports to South Africa plummeted 44%. Demand for Israeli matza in Canada and Australia is also down this year.

On the other hand, mazta exports to the UK and Belgium have risen strongly, which the Export Institute attributes to retailers switching to Israeli matza this year from Russian matza.

The Export Institute also attributes the drop in matza exports to the US to production by two US firms, against which Israeli companies cannot compete. The price of a 2.5-kg. box of Israeli matza has risen to $23 from $16.

In 2010, Israel exported matza to 57 countries. Matza exports included light matza, whole wheat matza, supervised matza, and handmade matza. The Export Institute says that demand for Israeli matza is very volatile: exports totaled $7 million in 2003, $10 million in 2006, $16 million in 2009, and $13 million in 2010.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on April 12, 2011

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011

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