A week after export ban, chicken prices yet to fall in Malaysian markets

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KUALA LUMPUR – Despite an export prohibition that went into force on June 1, prices of chicken in Malaysian marketplaces have not decreased in recent days.

CNA checks at numerous wet markets this week revealed that prices have not dropped, with normal whole chickens being offered at prices higher than the limit price of RM8.90 (US$2.03) per kilogram.

Mr N Rajaratnam, a chicken vendor at Petaling Jaya’s Jalan Othman market, said he charged RM1.50 per kg for cutting and cleaning.

Mr Rajaratnam sells his chickens for RM10.50 per kg with the additional cost.

“We also need to make a living.” Perhaps prices would fall after Hari Raya Haji (in July). “We can make ends meet by selling chickens at RM10.50 to RM11 per kg,” Mr Rajaratnam added, as quoted by CNA.

Mr Rajaratnam, who displayed messages from his supplier concerning recent chicken price increases, claimed the price had gone increased multiple times by 10 or 20 sen in May alone, and that he now buys whole live chickens for roughly RM7.30 per kg.

He claims he had to hire another location to slaughter the chickens before bringing them to the market since the state government has prohibited slaughtering at markets since the COVID-19 pandemic.

He claimed that after rent, his cost is roughly RM9 per kg.

“If we are allowed to slaughter chicken in the market again, we can definitely lower our prices,” Mr Rajaratnam added.

According to breeders, disease infection, weather conditions, and rising chicken feed prices have recently impacted chicken production.

Malaysia halted the export of up to 3.6 million chickens per month on June 1 to solve supply and pricing issues.

“The government’s priority is our own people,” Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob stated upon announcing the ban on May 23.

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