KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will discontinue ceiling price controls for chicken and chicken eggs from Jul 1.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Alexander Nanta Linggi on Tuesday (Jun 21) said the move was to stabilise the supply of food in the market, as well as prices in the long run.
“Chicken prices will be floated and will depend on market forces. The needy group will be assisted later with targeted financial aid,” he said at a press conference after chairing an engagement session with stakeholders in the poultry industry
Mr Nanta added that details on the financial aid would be announced by finance ministry.
The maximum retail price of standard chicken in Malaysia is currently RM8.90 per kg. These are chickens that have been processed, and are sold with head, feet and organs.
The maximum retail price for super whole chicken – which is slaughtered and cleaned, and then sold without feet, head, and organs – is presently set at RM9.90 per kg.
Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob had earlier announced that Putrajaya would stop giving subsidies to poultry farmers from Jul 1.
Following his announcement, the Bernama news agency said farmers reportedly hoped that the government would float the price of chicken.
Mr Nanta also said that Malaysia will abolish subsidies for certain cooking oil products from Jul 1.
The world’s second-largest palm oil producer will lift the subsidies for 2kg, 3kg and 5kg cooking oil bottles, but will continue subsidising 1kg packets.
“This was a temporary programme and should have been implemented for three months but it went on until today.
“The government feels it is time to abolish it and focus more on helping the needy,” Mr Nanta added.
Prices of global edible oils, including the widely consumed palm oil, have rallied to record highs this year due to supply disruption caused by adverse weather, labour shortages and Russia’s invasion of key sunflower oil exporter Ukraine.
Top palm oil producers Indonesia and Malaysia have placed varying subsidies on cooking oils to help control soaring prices and the rising cost of living.
Earlier this month, Malaysia said an increase in government revenue from rising commodity prices was insufficient to offset an expected spike in subsidy spending this year.
It expects to spend RM30 billion (US$6.82 billion) on subsidies compared to RM4 billion estimated in this year’s budget.
Source: Channel News Asia