Shoppers nationwide reported a shortage of eggs in supermarkets and grocery stores on Sunday, despite the government's promises in recent weeks to tackle the issue as demand for the product soared around the Passover holiday and supply declined due to the outbreak of coronavirus.
Dozens of residents of Jerusalem's ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods, who sought to stock up on groceries before being placed under closure Sunday noon, flocked to food marts in the city's Givat Shaul neighborhood only to discover empty shelves.
One of the cashiers promised that a shipment of eggs is due for the next day, before being silenced by one of her colleagues, telling her not to make such a commitment.
"We must buy everything right now, more or less, because we can't leave the house until Wednesday," a local shopper told Ynet. "We always have to stock up. Grocery shopping is endless, and people always want more."
Ya'akov Dahan, owner of Super Dahan supermarket in Sderot, told Ynet that these shortages have become a reoccurring phenomenon.
"[After a similar shortage the week before] We've limited each customer to one carton of eggs, but we cannot even provide that anymore. We were promised to get more eggs by noon and costumers are already calling to ask when will the shipment be in."
"In the morning, we started selling eggs from the local market that piled up during the [Passover] holiday and the weekend. We will also increase the rate of egg collection this week from the local farmers who are doing everything so that together we can fill the shelves."
Shoppers also reported shortages of matzos (traditional flatbread for Passover) and other holiday accouterments, to which Dahan replied that there are no matzos or matzo flour left and that Israelis would simply have to ask from their neighbors.
The Foreign Ministry announced last Tuesday that the Israeli embassy in Ukraine “has been working with officials in the Ukrainian government to increase egg export quotas to Israel, enabling the immediate shipment of dozens of tons of eggs to Israel even before Passover.”
Part of the cargo will arrive by sea, and part by a “special air operation by El Al,” the ministry said. The first air delivery is expected to land in Israel by Wednesday.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development some 32 million eggs will arrive by plane and 670 thousand eggs will arrive by sea from Spain, Ukraine, Italy and Portugal in the coming weeks.
In total, 24 containers of eggs are expected to arrive from Spain by the end of the month, 25 from Ukraine, 19 from Italy, and 31 from Portugal.