The coronavirus outbreak could cause a shortage of matzah in Israel ahead of Pesach, Ynet reported.
The news come as many Israelis are cancelling their various plans for the Pesach abroad, including trips to Thailand and Italy. As a result, more Israelis will stay in Israel, potentially increasing the demand for Matzah.
“We already ordered all the matzot for the holiday. Everything,” one retailer said.
The retailer explained that their orders are based on a calculation that takes into account two factors: that no one wants to eat kosher-for-Pesach food after Pesach, and the fact that at any given time during the holiday, at least 5%-7% of the population will be out of the country. The first factor is the reason that all kosher-for-Pesach food is ordered and even manufactured in limited quantities. However, with more Israelis staying, “the food market will have another 3% -4% demand that it will not be able to cope with.”
The arrival of other retail products for the holidays is also expected to be slow due to the virus causing massive delays of all shipping. As a result, some in Israel are turning to Turkey for a variety of products needed for the holiday, such as chairs, pots, pans, plastic containers and small electronic appliances.
These products are normally ordered from China and are known for being relatively inexpensive. While products from Turkey may be on average 20% more expensive, shipping is much faster and cheaper. Furthermore, products in China have actually become more expensive due to the coronavirus, especially certain products such as surgical face masks.