PETALING JAYA: Removing the ceiling price of eggs will allow for more effective production methods to be normalised, leading to a steadier market supply, says Mydin hypermarket managing director Ameer Ali Mydin.
He said the government’s decision to maintain price controls did not address the “persistent” shortage of eggs since the Covid-19 pandemic, which had led to many consumers, including those from the B40 group, being forced to buy the pricier Omega eggs.
“We are sure that the price of eggs will go up by at least 10 sen per egg (without the price control), which will lead to a RM3 increase per tray.
“Before the price control, this was actually the standard price for eggs,” Ameer told FMT.
On Oct 30, agriculture and food security minister Mohamad Sabu announced the government’s decision to remove the ceiling price for chicken. However, he said controls over the price of eggs will be maintained until further notice.
Previously, when announcing the 2024 budget, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said the government had decided to lift controls over the prices of both chicken and eggs to let market forces determine them.
However, Mohamad said the decision to maintain the price control and subsidy for eggs was made taking into account the extra cost consumers would have to bear otherwise.
Following the decision, Ameer announced that Mydin would be dropping its price of chicken to RM7.99 per kg, a one-ringgit decrease, on Nov 1.
“This will give the right signal to the government that the private sector is not opportunistic but will still follow the market prices,” Ameer said.
Economist Ida Yasin agreed with Ameer, saying the price of eggs should be floated in line with the government’s goal of reducing fiscal spending.
“The government would have to fork out more money to provide subsidies for eggs, so to me, the price of eggs should be floated according to market forces,” the Putra Business School senior lecturer said.
However, the Federation of Livestock Farmers’ Associations of Malaysia (FLFAM) supports the government’s decision.
“FLFAM will continue to support the government’s moves to provide Malaysians with an ample supply of broiler chickens and eggs at affordable prices,” the association said in a statement.