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Shortage continues to be an egg-ache

Shortage continues to be an egg-ache

PETALING JAYA: The shortage of eggs continues to frustrate consumers.

Whatever is available in the market is usually snapped up and queues stretch as consumers wait in line to buy this cheap source of protein, say industry players.

Many are worried the situation will persist if the government cannot solve the issue soon.

Federation of Sundry Goods Merchants Associations of Malaysia president Hong Chee Meng said the shortage had yet to be resolved since it was highlighted two months ago.

“According to our members, the eggs are all snapped up within hours when they arrive at their designated outlets. As such, the sundry shops do not have any stock left,” he said.

Hong added that the shortage was caused by poultry farms cutting down on their production due to the increase in costs.

A check showed that people were keeping a close watch on social media to follow the egg trails in their neighborhood.

“We monitor Facebook community groups for ‘egg updates’. Once there is news of eggs restocked at a particular outlet, there will be a rush to queue up and get supplies,” said housewife Lim Ai Swam, 45, from Batu Pahat, Johor.Lim, who needs 20 eggs weekly for her family, said the shortage was unprecedented.

“There should be enough eggs. This has never happened before,” she said, adding that she hoped the situation would improve soon.Klang Coast Sundry Goods Merchants’ Association president Tan Teck Hock said consumers had to resort to buying kampung eggs, although their supply has also dropped by 50%.

“Eggs are restocked every Wednesday at my shop. Some of my regulars will ask me to reserve some eggs for them, which I do,” he said, adding that the rest of the stock would be sold out quickly. Egg producer Wong Wei Chang said “panic buying” had caused supply to run out fast.

He noted that the new wave of bird flu in Europe was impacting poultry farming, besides the hike in maize and soybean feed costs to make chicken feed.

On Oct 10, the government announced it would maintain the ceiling prices of type A, B and C eggs despite the subsidy being increased from three to eight sen.

The maximum retail price of Grade A chicken eggs is 45 sen each, Grade B (43 sen) and Grade C (41 sen) in the peninsula while for Langkawi, Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan, the maximum prices of chicken and eggs vary, depending on the zones and districts.

Poultry farmers have asked the government to float the prices of eggs following an increase in feed costs since the pandemic.



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