Chicken prices being monitored

Going rate: Customers looking at a price list held by a poultry trader at the Batu Lanchang market in George Town. — LIM BENG TATT/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry has issued 21 show-cause notices to chicken suppliers here under Ops Catut 8.0 for unreasonable price hike.

State director Mohd Ridzuan Ab Ghapar said they were in the midst of identifying the cause and source of the price hike in markets and would continue to monitor retail prices.

“We will monitor the price hike through Ops Catut 8.0, which was launched on Thursday and will go on until April 22.

“If we find any unreasonable price hike, we will issue show-cause notices to the suppliers under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act and Supply Control Act.

“This is to identify the source and cause of the hike, ” he said when contacted.

At the Cecil Street Market, poultry vendor Jei Khor, 48, said she noted a steady price increase in chicken supply since January.

“We have been paying between 30 sen and 80 sen more each time for supplies of fresh chicken since the beginning of the year.

“It occurs in phases every week or every two or three weeks.

“Because of this, we have had to increase the prices of dressed and cut chicken pieces.

“In January, we sold chickens at over RM7 per kg.

“Now, the price has gone up to RM9.80 to RM10 per kg, ” she said.

Khor also said that many of the poultry vendors had asked about the increase but the suppliers said it was due to a hike in the cost of chickenfeed.

“Many suppliers said there is a shortage of chicken supplies and that chickenfeed is becoming more expensive.

“So we have no choice. Because of this, we are losing customers.

“People think we are the ones raising the prices, ” she said.

Another vendor, who wanted to be known only as Liang, 50, said because of the price hike, he had ordered 40% less chicken from his suppliers over the past few weeks.

“Consumers are less inclined to buy chicken.

“They might as well buy other meats or go to a supermarket, ” Liang said.

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