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Israeli Companies Step in After Natural Disasters

Israeli industries are benefiting in the wake of the increasingly destructive weather patterns striking coastal areas of the United States, offering hurricane protection and fresh citrus.
By Ezra HaLevi
First Publish: 1/24/2007, 3:26 PM / Last Update: 1/24/2007, 4:16 PM


Israeli citrus farmers have benefited from the wave of freezing cold weather that struck California recently, destroying 70 percent of its citrus fruit.

Though citrus prices within Israel have not risen, the prices globally have, and drastically. Retail prices for grapefruit are up 33 percent over last year, red pomelos 35 percent and Israeli specialty pomelits up a whopping 78 percent.

Japan, a major importer of citrus, has renewed its imports from Israel, ordering 800 tons of oranges a week. Earlier this month, China signed a contract to buy $50 million worth of oranges, grapefruits and pomelos a year from Israel.

Following the California crop failures, Spain and Morocco, both major exporters to the European Union decided to sell to the US instead, for a higher profit. European nations were therefore forced to increase their imports from countries like Israel. Traditionally, 68 percent of Israeli citrus exports are channeled to Western Europe, mostly the UK, with 19 percent sent to Russia and 9 percent Italy.

Hurricane-ravaged Florida has turned to Israeli aluminum company Klil, which is supplying a line of hurricane-proof products to the State of Florida. The building materials, siding and slats are designed to provide protection and durability in the face of hurricanes.

Federal authorities in the United States have introduced new requirements for those living in states afflicted by hurricanes. The regulations require the residents to secure their homes with special systems complying with certain standards.

The first Florida sale will reach an estimated 2-3 million shekels, according to Globes. Klil will begin marketing the systems to Louisiana, North Carolina, and Tennessee in the near future.