Exports of sifrei kodesh are expected to increase by
17 percent this year compared to 2005, totaling $53 million
according to an estimate by Meir Bar-El, deputy director of
the Manufacturers' Association and head of the printing
Sixty percent of sifrei kodesh exports are sent to the
US, 30 percent to Europe and 10 percent to the rest of the
world. Sifrei kodesh constitute 34 percent of all
export activity in the printing industry.
Bar-El says during the first eight months of the year, paper
costs rose 30 percent against the same period last year and
the price of toner rose from 623 euro ($780) to 810 euro
Bar-El estimates total printing industry sales will reach
$2.19 billion this year, an increase of 5.4 percent,
including a 5 percent increase in local sales to $2 billion.
Exports will grow by 11.3 percent, totaling $158 million.
Bar-El estimates 400 new workers will by hired, bringing the
total to 22,400 workers by the end of the year. He says the
printing industry is desperately in need of another 300
According to Bar-El during the first six months of the year
printing industry exports to Egypt doubled against the same
period last year to $100,000, exports to Morocco tripled to
$30,000, exports to Jordan rose 250 percent to $70,000,
exports to China came to $20,000, exports to Spain increased
250 percent to $5 million, exports to Greece increased 50
percent to $1.5 million, exports to Britain increased 10
percent to $2.2 million, exports to Australia rose from
$250,000 to $350,000 and exports to South Africa decreased
from $200,000 to $180,000.
Bar-El called on government corporations and public bodies to
execute work in Israel to help prevent printing houses from
closing and to boost employment.