PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia is looking into limiting or stopping the export of eggs to ensure there is sufficient supply for its domestic market, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said on Monday (Dec 10).
Speaking at a press conference after the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs’ monthly meeting, Saifuddin said that they will also investigate if there are elements of cartel activities causing the price of eggs to increase consistently every week for the past several months.
Action could be taken under the Competition Act for cartel activities like price fixing, division of territories and joint efforts by producers and wholesalers to limit production, he added.
Saifuddin explained that the ministry had received many complaints from consumers including those in Penang, Sarawak and Putrajaya about the increase in the price of eggs especially in mid-November.
“In the first week of November, the price of grade A eggs in Putrajaya increased from RM3.98 (10 eggs) to RM5.11. In the third week, it went down to RM4.04. After that it has remained at around RM4," he said.
Saifuddin said among the reasons given by producers and wholesalers was the weather, the value of the ringgit, the high cost of chicken feed and the increase in utility costs of chicken rearers.
Saifuddin added that the ministry had conducted checks at the production, distribution and wholesaler stages throughout the country since Dec 7 to find out the cause of the price increase.
“If the traders are purposely increasing the price of eggs in order to make exorbitant profits, the ministry will not hesitate to take action under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011,” he said.
The ministry will also hold talks with the Malaysian Competition Commission and the Veterinary Services Department to determine effective measures to tackle the increase in price, including the weather and disease factors.