The low chicken costs of today might not last; they might go up in the future

08 Nov 2023 03:15pm
Pix for illustration purposes - FILE PIX
Pix for illustration purposes - FILE PIX

Since the government floated chicken prices starting on Nov 1, I finally had a chance to visit a morning market in Shah Alam.

Although I'm not the type who likes to go to crowded places but when the kitchen supplies run out, you just have to go and get them yourself.

While I was there, I purposely surveyed the prices offered by chicken sellers and was delighted to see that the chicken sold here was cheaper than the controlled price set for a whole chicken, which was below RM9.40.

It seems that the government's decision to float chicken prices is yielding positive results.

I also shared a conversation with a seller, who acknowledged that his sales were booming because chicken prices had dropped.

The seller smiled and said that chicken prices were low now because there was sufficient stock in the coop to meet customer demand.

As per the basic theory of business, if supply and demand were balanced, prices would remain under control.

Even the sellers do not want to raise prices at their will for fear that customers might go to other stalls that offer cheaper prices.

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According to the veterinary department's data for 2021, Malaysia needs at least 62.9 million chickens per month, which averages about 2.09 million chickens per day.

This means that local farmers need to ensure a stable number of chickens in their coops in every breeding cycle.

I still remember that we once faced a chicken shortage at the end of 2021 when farmers reduced production to cope with increased operating costs due to expensive feed prices.

I hope that this will not happen again in the future.

Farmers should also have a well-planned and organised system to ensure an adequate supply of chickens every day, and the government should monitor this continuously.