Israel Announces Gradual Lifting of Price Caps on Bread

Israel's economy minister was initially against removing price controls, but agreed on a plan that would see them lifted by April

TheMarker
TheMarker
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Angel bakery in Lod.
Angel bakery in Lod.Credit: Alon Ron
TheMarker
TheMarker

Bread prices in Israel will rise gradually over the next few months, until price controls will ultimately be lifted in April, according to a decision announced Monday by the prime minister and economy minister.

Three types of price-controlled bread sold in supermarkets will be affected by the government's decision. The standard sliced bread, which currently is priced at 7.11 shekels ($2.07), will increase by 5.5 percent; unsliced bread, currently at 5.12 shekels, will increase in price by 5 percent, and challah bread will increase by 8 percent.

Another increase, affecting only standard bread and challah, will take place in December, and all price controls will be removed in April.

In his statement, Prime Minister Yair Lapid said he has asked the finance and the social services ministries to find more funding to support needy families.

Two weeks ago, Economy Minister Orna Barbivai refused to sign the order approving the prices increase, despite the recommendation of the finance and economy ministries' committee on price controls. The panel suggested lifting price controls on bread, citing a highly competitive local bread market and a global increase in wheat prices, partly resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

But Babivai announced at the time that she would not approve removing the price controls, declaring that “price-controlled bread is a basic staple that must be accessible to every home.”

Earlier this month, the two biggest bakeries in Israel, Angel and Berman, filed a petition with the High Court of Justice against Barbivai’s plan to leave the price controls in effect.

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