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Israeli meat consumption rises 60% during the period between the Passover holiday and the Lag Ba'omer bonfire celebrations, a period which also includes this week's Independence Day holiday.

The average Israeli consumes 1.35 kilograms of meat a month, but this figure grows to 2.15 kilograms during this five-week period, according to Agriculture Ministry figures.

Beef consumption grew 17% per capita in 2007, to 15.5 kilograms.

The Manufacturers Association estimates meat sales will reach NIS 27 million before Independence Day, for a total of 1,300 tons of processed meat and poultry.

That equals 13 million servings of hamburger, steak, kebabs, hot dogs chicken and much more, a 10-15% rise over last year.

For both Independence Day and Lag Ba'omer, meat sales are about double the usual quantities.

Prices have also risen over the past year by about 10%. A kilogram of meat now costs NIS 22 on average.

Half of Israeli meat sold is fresh, and the other half is frozen. Fresh meat sales total about NIS 1.2 billion a year, and frozen meat sales total NIS 1 billion.

However, even though beef sales in Israel are growing, they are still way below those in Western and South American countries. According to the Cattle Growers Association, Israelis eat only 35% of the quantity that South Americans consume.

Over the past year, meat production plants have increased their investments by 5-10%.