Cedarhurst LI…”It is hard to say that prices for Passover will be exactly like last year but save for a few items, it is reasonable to say so,” said Howard Klagsbrun of Gourmet Glatt. News of shortages in oils and mayonnaise proved premature. Retailers say that they are getting higher bills from manufacturers and distributors with the excuse being “higher labor costs” due to the increased minimum wage in New York State. Items like potato starch increased by at least 10% and meats have been on the rise well before Passover. Malkie Levine of Evergreen (Monsey and Lakewood) does not see any appreciable difference from last year. Matzoh seems to have risen slightly with the favorite Mehadrin Matzoh now at $15 a lb. Snack items like potato chips seem to have had a slight increase in many stores. Ironically, one item that seems to have reversed its steep increase from a year ago is eggs. One possibility, say the retailers, is that Passover this year does not compete with the Easter season, a prime season for eggs amongst non-Jews. Bottom line, say the retailers, the overall cost of the shopping basket will be slightly higher but not as steep as in previous years.