IPOH (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK)- The increase in egg prices in Malaysia is because of bird flu affecting poultry, Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Salahuddin Ayub said on Saturday (Dec 15).
He said the bird flu is causing a shortage in egg supply, but he assured the public that this was only temporary.
"My ministry is in discussions with the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry on steps to contain the prices," 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 to 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.
When asked if there will be a contingency plan by the ministry as Chinese New Year will be celebrated in two months, he said the exact problems causing the price 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 recently said it was working closely with the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry to probe any possible price fixing and market manipulation by cartels which had led to the increase of chicken egg prices.
The commission said in a statement on Thursday that it was looking into the possibility of profiteering or anti-competitive behaviour among market players.