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A dairy shortage that began on Rosh Hashanah eve is likely to end by tomorrow, Israel's largest dairy company said yesterday. Tnuva said it was already meeting 95 percent of the demand.

But an official in one of the country's largest supermarket chains predicted another shortage as the weekend nears and Israelis stock up ahead of Yom Kippur, which begins Friday night.

The supermarket source said the branches that were unable to fill their stock of dairy products were primarily those located in outlying areas.

The shortage began as Israelis stockpiled food last week ahead of the Jewish new year, which began Wednesday night. Most stores were closed from Wednesday afternoon to Saturday night or Sunday morning because of the holiday.

Shayke Drori, the general manager of the Israel Dairy Board, said the shortage stemmed from excess demand ahead of the holiday, not from a decrease in the milk supply. But dairy companies are also blaming the heat, which they said causes cows to produce less milk.