Israelis shop tomatoes at a vegetable market of Machne Yehuda in Jerusalem, May 06, 2012. Tomato prices are expected to rise up to 16 shekels per kilogram ($1.90 per pound). The situation is being blamed on normal, seasonal cycles.
According to Fresh Plaza, Rami Levi, owner of the discount supermarket chain Rami Levi Shivuk Hashikma, said on Sunday he was drastically reducing his orders for fresh tomatoes in response to the price crunch, even if it meant creating a shortage in his stores.
“Today I ordered 10 pallets of tomatoes, compared to 100 pallets on a normal day,” Levi said. “I expect there to be a tomato shortage in the branches during the day, but I’d rather people not buy at this price. If I don’t order a large amount the demand will drop, in the hope that prices will drop accordingly.”
Levi said the retail chains should charge customers about 20% above the wholesale price – around NIS 9 per kilogram.