PETALING JAYA: Agriculture and food security minister Mohamad Sabu has confirmed that the price of eggs and chicken in the market will be floated from July 1.
In a written Dewan Rakyat reply, Mohamad said government subsidies for eggs and chickens would end after June 30, adding that the domestic trade and cost of living ministry would control the price of these two items.
“To ensure the supply of chicken and eggs in the market is stable after the subsidies end, the ministry will implement several soft-landing mechanisms,” he said.
This includes lifting the ban on exporting day-old chicks, whole chicken and chicken parts from July 1 and allowing the import of eggs and chicken from recognised source countries.
Source countries for importing chicken include Thailand, China, Brazil and Denmark, while eggs will only be imported from Thailand and Ukraine.
Mohamad said the ministry would continue stockpiling whole chicken under the Farmers’ Organization Authority, adding that 63% of the ministry’s target of 2,177 tonnes of whole chickens had been stored as of May 7.
He was replying to Mas Ermieyati Samsudin (PN-Masjid Tanah) who asked if the government had conducted a comprehensive study on the effects of this policy change.
In February, Mohamad said Putrajaya planned to float the price of eggs and chicken after June.
He had said then that subsidising chicken eggs until June would cost the government some RM1.28 billion.
The current retail price ceiling for a standard chicken is RM9.40 per kg while the price for eggs are: Grade A (45 sen per egg), Grade B (43 sen per egg) and Grade C (41 sen per egg) in the peninsula.
In Langkawi, Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan, the maximum price for both items differ, according to the respective zones and districts.
Meanwhile, Mohamad said RM347.4 billion worth of food was imported into Malaysia over the past six years, of which RM75.5 billion was imported last year alone.
Mohamad said China was the main source country for food imports, with RM41.3 billion in import value in that six-year period.
This was followed by Argentina (RM32 billion), Thailand (RM29.5 billion), India (RM26.6 billion) and Australia (RM22.5 billion).