Report: Poultry farmers warn of worsening egg shortage

Lee said the farmers’ federation hopes the government could increase the subsidy to 8 sen per egg so they can break even. — Photo by Devan Manuel

By Debra Chong

Saturday, July 16, 2022 10:32 AM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, July 16 – A chicken egg crisis is brewing in Malaysia with the current shortage of one of the country’s most affordable protein food sources set to worsen soon, The star reported today.

Citing information from the Federation of Malaysian Cattle Breeders’ Associations, the newspaper reported that only 170 out of 300 poultry farms remain in operation today after the pandemic and are struggling with operational costs due to rising chicken feed prices, rising labor costs, reduced subsidies, and a government-imposed ceiling price for eggs.

“We’re not talking about profits, just about breaking even so we can pay our suppliers and workers,” said Lee Yoon Yeau, vice president of the apex body. The star.

He said the war in Ukraine had doubled the prices of corn and soybean meal, the most commonly used chicken feeds.

Maize now costs more than RM1,800 per ton while soybean meal costs more than RM2,650, he added.

The ceiling price for grade C eggs was set at 35 sen one from Feb. 5 to June 30, but the cost of production rose to 45 sen one egg, Lee said. The star.

“So with a subsidy of 5 sen per egg, we lose 5 sen.

“With the current daily production of 28 million tonnes, the loss is RM1.04 million per day and RM42 million per month for farmers,” he said.

Lee said the farmers’ federation hopes the government could increase the subsidy to 8 sen per egg so they can break even.

He said the government had so far raised the ceiling price to two sen per egg for this month and next, but said nothing about subsidies.

“If the government is unwilling to provide a reasonable subsidy, it should float prices and let market forces decide.

“Farmers are now taking their last breaths in the intensive care unit. The poultry industry could soon collapse,” he said.

He said floating prices had been the norm in the past, with controlled prices put in place during festive seasons.

Lee said the country’s biggest poultry farms are cutting production as they grapple with increased labor costs now that the minimum wage of RM1,500 per month has come into force.

The star quoted a federation committee member in Sabah supporting Lee’s predictions of a further decline in egg production.

“If the business environment is not conducive, farmers will definitely reduce their production.

“We can’t just stop production because the chicks and chickens are still there,” Chia Seong Pow told the newspaper.

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