PUTRAJAYA: The price of chicken may be controlled if prices at every level of the distribution chain continue to face unreasonable increase, says the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry.
Its minister, Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi (pic), said while the ministry has no plans to enforce price control for the item except during festive celebrations, it would not hesitate to implement deterrent measures.
“Our current action is to consistently monitor and carry out price checks on the produce to ensure there is no price manipulation,” he said in response to complaints over the price of chicken, which has gone up lately.
Based on monitoring of the wholesale price on Sept 10, the average price of standard chicken (cleaned) at the national level is RM8.83/kg.
The increase in the prices of primary ingredients for chicken feed, namely soy, corn and palm oil several times this year was blamed for the increase in the price of the produce.
Nanta said that no cartel activities have been detected so far, and the ministry is working closely with the Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) to look into the matter.
“We will continue to monitor closely the price of chicken in the market, and will take legal action if warranted,” he said.
As of Sept 14, a total of 164 premises had been inspected by the ministry’s enforcement personnel, and 163 compound notices had been issued to traders so that detailed information could be obtained on their operation and purchasing costs.
The enforcement team had also issued 145 notices to traders at various chicken distribution chains to warn against indiscriminate price hikes.
Nanta said his ministry is engaging with the Agriculture and Food Industry Ministry to look at various costs to breed chicken such as imported feed and chicks.
“We are aware that the increase in the price of chicken feed resulted in the increased price of chicken. About 80% of the chicken feed is imported.
“As a proactive measure, I will meet and discuss with the Finance Ministry to find reasonable and long-term measures that can be implemented by the government to stabilise chicken prices,” he said.