An Egyptian decision to ban the export of closed palm fronds used in an upcoming Jewish festival is forcing Israel to seek ways to make up the shortfall, its agriculture minister said on Sunday.In this article, the present ban is simply contrasted with the "past." Here is an article about last year's lulav situation, however:
In the past, Israeli dealers imported between 600,000 and 700,000 fronds, the vast majority of which came from Egypt's Sinai region. [...]
Giving Jews plenty of time to prepare for the Sukkot holiday, three and a half months away, Egypt has announced that it will not export lulavs this year.Nevertheless:
Egyptian Agriculture Minister says he will ban the export of lulavs – palm tree fronds – this year, leaving Jewish communities around the world and particularly in Israel without its major source of lulavim for the Sukkot holiday. [...]
The Agriculture Ministry believes that it has managed to avert a shortage in lulavs -- palm tree fronds that are one of the Four Species used in the Sukkot holiday – despite a last-minute announcement by Egypt that it will not allow exports of lulavs this year. Israeli palm tree growers are expected to be able to produce enough lulavs to meet the demand, and imports from other countries are still an option. The Ministry also believes that lulav prices will not jump because of the unexpected situation.I hope not. I assume US prices will parallel Israeli ones, and I have to buy a set of arba minim for the Judeobochur also.