Task Force combating inflation is against floating egg prices, importing eggs

26 Oct 2022 09:47am
Annuar at a press conference after chairing the meeting of the Special Task Force on Jihad Against Inflation yesterday. - Bernama Photo
Annuar at a press conference after chairing the meeting of the Special Task Force on Jihad Against Inflation yesterday. - Bernama Photo
PUTRAJAYA - The Task Force on Jihad Against Inflation has rejected recommendations to float the prices of eggs or to import eggs although there is a shortage of supply in the domestic market, said its chairman Tan Sri Annuar Musa.

The Communications and Multimedia Minister confirmed that there was a shortfall of more than 96 million eggs a month, as higher production costs had caused monthly output to drop to only 871.9 million eggs compared to demands totalling 968.8 million eggs.

"We do not view the import option as a solution. First, it is because the prices of eggs are far higher outside, so it is not possible to import more expensive eggs and sell cheap in the country. Furthermore, we want to protect the local production industry.

"And if egg prices are floated, they will surge by at least 12 sen. So, the task force is not agreeable to this suggestion although floating is seen as a more sustainable way out, especially in the opinion of producers at the farm,” he told a news conference after chairing a meeting of the task force yesterday.

To address this issue, the task force recommended that the subsidy of eight sen per egg be increased by two sen, which involves a financial implication of RM20 million a month, or the existing controlled price be raised by two sen per egg.

Annuar said the current prices of eggs at the farm level are 41 each for grade A, 39 sen for grade B and 37 sen for grade C.

However, the production cost at the farm level for grade A eggs is 51 sen each.

"Adding the 41 sen cost for grade A with the eight sen (subsidy) makes 49 sen, so the income of producers is two sen short of the production cost. This caused some breeders to resort to actions like destroying chickens which have reached a certain age earlier. Normally chickens which are 80 to 85 days old can still lay eggs but had to be destroyed to cut costs.

"Substitute chickens for those slaughtered are slow in production, causing overall output to continue dropping and affecting egg supply in the country,” he added.
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As one of the options proposed involved financial implications at a time when Parliament had been dissolved, the matter was immediately referred to the Prime Minister and Finance Minister because a quick decision was needed, he said.

He said the task force asked for the cooperation of egg producers to not destroy hens at a younger age and industry players to come up with other suggestions to overcome the short supply of eggs.

On enforcement regarding the prices of chickens and eggs, he said that since Feb 5 this year 151 cases had been identified under offences of selling above the maximum price.

On cooking oil offences, 177 cases have been identified, with seizures worth RM3.3 million. - BERNAMA