Minister: Bird flu causing egg price hike

Datuk Salahuddin Ayub

Datuk Salahuddin Ayub

IPOH: The increase in the prices of eggs is due to the bird flu affecting the poultry industry, says Datuk Salahuddin Ayub (pic).

The Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister said the flu was causing a shortage in supply but assured consumers that the problem was only temporary.

“We are in dis­­cussions with the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry on steps to contain the pricing,” he told reporters on the sidelines of Parti Amanah Negara’s national convention here yester­day.

According to recent reports, egg farmers were closing shop due to soaring feed prices. As such, egg production dropped by about 70% as compared to two years ago.

Demand has since exceeded supply, forcing prices of eggs to spike.

Salahuddin said a committee was looking into the price hike and that the issue would be re­­solved soon.

On contingency plans in view of the coming Christmas and Chinese New Year celebrations, he said: “Once the com­­mittee has come up with a report, we will take the necessary measures.”

The Malaysia Competition Commission also said it was working closely with the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry to check on any market manipulation that might have affected the domestic market for chicken eggs.

MyCC said that aside from anti-profiteering issues, it was looking into the possibility of anti-competitive behaviour among the market players.