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Soaring chicken prices in JB due to limited supply, high demand

JOHOR BARU: The price of chicken here has increased to RM10 per kg from yesterday, above the RM8.90 per kg. ceiling price set by the government.

A check at wet markets in Pandan and Larkin, here, found that most traders did not comply with the ceiling price set and sold them from RM9.50 to RM10 per kg, which is between 60 sen to RM1.10 higher.

Although the price of chicken is getting costlier, consumers were seen scrambling to buy the bird, with supply depleting even before noon.

Chicken trader, Hafizul Mohamad, 40, said supply currently is tight, as live birds arriving at a high price of RM8.60 per kg from the supplier.

This high supply price has caused most traders in the city unable to comply with the government ceiling price of chicken.

“Traders receive chicken at a price of RM8.60 per kg which includes transportation costs of RM1 per kg.

“Traders have had to pay transportation costs since the government enforced the chicken control price on Feb 5, whereas previously we were not charged transportation costs.

“How can traders sell chicken at the (retail) price of RM8.90 per kg according to the control price, when the price of chicken (at wholesale) is already RM8.60?

“We chicken traders are in a tight spot because the stock of fresh chicken is now limited. In fact, the price of chicken received from suppliers is already high, causing traders unable to recoup their capital, as they have to pay rent for premises, utility bills and employee salaries.

“In the past, during Ramadan, traders could sell up to 500 chickens a day, but now the chicken supply is insufficient and supply is declining.

Suppliers now ration the number of chickens supplied to traders, causing us to only receive half of the orders made. Like me for example, I ordered 500 chickens but only received 200,” he said when met, here, today.

On Feb 5, the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry imposed a ceiling retail for chicken at RM8.90 per kg in Peninsular Malaysia.

Its Minister, Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said the price will be effective from Feb 5 to June 5, 2022 for 121 days, to ensure the stability of chicken and its related feed prices.

Meanwhile, consumers were also disappointed with the high chicken prices as well as its limited supply.

Civil servant Fairuz Talib, 34, said he was shocked to find that the price of fresh chicken had risen sharply to RM10 per kg.

“I am actually from Kuala Lumpur and returned home to my hometown for an early Ramadan holiday. In Kuala Lumpur, the price of chicken never reached more than RM9 per kg, so I was quite shocked when I bought a chicken at RM10 per kg.

“The sudden increase in the price of chicken during Ramadan is very unreasonable and is a burden on the ordinary people. Why is there a price of chicken during Ramadan when it is the major food item for Muslims,” he said.

Government pensioner, Manan Abd Hamid, 76, said the supply of chicken at markets he went was nearly depleted by noon.

“Traders claimed suppliers give them chicken supply in small quantities and expensive, causing them to have to increase the price.

“The RM10 price is very burdensome, let alone this being the major food of the people,” he said.

Source: New Straits Times

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