Bird flu in Malaysia behind egg shortage and price hike

IPOH • The increase in egg prices in Malaysia is because of bird flu affecting poultry, Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Salahuddin Ayub said yesterday.

He said the bird flu is causing a shortage in egg supply, but assured the public that this was temporary.

"My ministry is in discussions with the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNKK) on steps to contain the pricing," he told reporters on the sidelines of Parti Amanah Negara's national convention.

It was reported recently that many egg farmers are closing shop due to soaring feed prices, and that egg production had dropped by an estimated 70 per cent, compared with two years ago. With demand exceeding supply, prices have risen.

Mr Salahuddin said the issue will be settled soon and it was best for the committee, which had been set up to investigate the egg price hike, to first look into the issue of supply.

Asked if there is a contingency plan as Chinese New Year will be celebrated in two months' time, he said the exact problems causing the hike must be examined first.

"Once the committee has come up with a report, we will take the necessary measures," he added.

The Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) recently said it is working closely with KPDNKK to probe any possible price fixing and market manipulation by cartels, which had led to the hike in chicken egg prices.

MyCC said in a statement last Thursday that it is looking into the possibility of profiteering or anti-competitive behaviour among market players.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 16, 2018, with the headline 'Bird flu in Malaysia behind egg shortage and price hike'. Print Edition | Subscribe