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Monday, 14 April 2014

'Greedy traders causing festive chicken price hikes'

AYER HITAM: Greed among traders has been identified as one of the reasons prices of chicken increase before any festive season.

Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Hassan Malek said a research by the Malaysian Competition Commission (MyCC) found, among others, that traders had exploited the demand for their own financial benefit.

Another reason was the asymmetric chicken price, as there were poultry farmers who registered their business with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) and others under the Veterinary Department through various cooperatives and associations.

Another reason was that the chicken sellers did not follow the ministry’s price control scheme.

“We found chicken sellers create competitiveness among themselves, which upset the market and also affected the commercial relationship between the supplier and the trader,” Hassan told reporters when visiting the Johor Farmers Association poultry and meat-processing factory in Machap, near here, yesterday.

On those registered with the CCM, he said only 292 chicken poultry farmers out of the more than 2,400 in the country have registered their business with the commission.

“This is a small figure,” he said, adding that the other 2,110 chicken poultry farmers are registered with the Veterinary Department.

“This has caused the ministry to receive incomplete data to conduct price checks on chicken in the market that causes the price of a chicken to skyrocket.

“Only 12.1% of chicken farmers have registered their businesses while many are under cooperatives or associations.

“The ministry is hoping the Veterinary Department will advise the remaining farmers to register with the CCM,” said Hassan.

He said the last few years had seen a steady increase of chicken in the market. There were 637 million birds available in 2012 but only 594 million were consumed.

“The demand for chicken is actually lower than the output. Based on the economic theory there should not be a high increase (of prices) and this shows there is a market distortion,” he said.

Hasan said for the upcoming Ramadan month (which starts at the end of June), the ministry would introduce a common price control scheme as the demand for chicken will increase during the period.

He said the ministry would also discuss the issue of meat price with the Agriculture and Agro-based Ministry to ensure the price will not increase within the next couple of months.

Tags / Keywords: Health , chicken , SSM , Veterinary Department , factory , Johor


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