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Chicken traders go bust as Malaysia's government controls prices

by 5m Editor
3 October 2006, at 11:46am

MALAYSIA - Over 300 chicken sellers in the Malaysian state of Kedah have balked at the government's move to bring down the ceiling price of standard chicken to RM5.40 (US$1.46) from RM6 (US$1.67) per kg last Friday (Sep 29) after the market saw a series of price hikes recently.

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Some stall owners are reportedly losing about RM300 (US$81.3) a day since the cut in ceiling prices and are considering winding up their businesses.

Poultry traders were hit hard as the government had not only reduced the ceiling price but also increased the ex-farm price to RM3.50 (US$0.95) from RM2.80 per kg (US$0.76), squeezing the profits of traders in the middle.

Mat Rashid, Kedah Consumers Association (CAKE) assistant secretary, urged the government to cap the ex-farm price of live chickens at below RM3 per kg.

Rashid warned that inaction before Hari Raya, the Malay religious festival due in two weeks, would lead to a shortage in the markets as traders would be reluctant to stock up for fear of incurring greater losses.

Chicken sellers said the government moves have robbed them of their profits. Besides paying for the raw chickens, traders also have to pay for processing, labour and a host of other costs.

Meanwhile, CAKE president Yusof Ismail hoped the government could find a solution that satisfies all parties. He also suggested the traders set up an association so as to give them greater representation in the decision-making process.

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5m Editor