PUTRAJAYA, Aug 15 — The decision to lift the current export ban on chicken and the setting of new ceiling prices for chicken and eggs will only be finalised after the relevant ministries and agencies submit detailed reports on the status of the supply and demand to the Special Task Force on Jihad Against Inflation.

Task force chairman Tan Sri Annuar Musa said those responsible, including the Veterinary Services Department (DVS) and the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM), are given a week to present their findings to the committee.

Although many poultry breeders have requested the ban be lifted following high demand from Singapore, Annuar asked all parties to be patient and allow the taskforce to assess the findings to ensure everything was under control.

“Whether to export or not, and whether the current subsidy mechanism will continue, these will only be decided after the submission of detailed reports.

“We take the approach that everything must be based on the latest data findings, and a clear formula on the real local demand and the quantity to be exported should the ban be lifted.

“There is no need for any speculation at this time as we will look at data and methods that will not burden the public,” he said during a media conference after chairing the task force meeting here today.

Annuar said the new price of chickens and eggs after August 31 will include input from the DVS and DOSM, including the availability of imported chicken, chicken produced locally and the quantum of chicken that could be re-exported.

He revealed that DOSM has been tasked with making a computation based on field studies regarding the actual production cost for every chicken produced in the country.

“That figure is important for the taskforce to determine a reasonable ceiling price to ensure we can control prices effectively and to be fair to poultry breeders who are susceptible to pressures of production costs, especially those related to imported products such as feed,” he said.

The DVS, meanwhile, was asked to determine the relationship between the supply of imported chicken, imported chicken kept as buffer stocks and imported chicken in the market, taking into consideration the price of chicken produced in the market to determine total existing stocks at any one time and the total needed for export, he added.

“Once these figures are presented to the taskforce, then we can decide whether to review the chicken export ban and allowing the importation of chicken without approved permits (AP) as announced previously,” he said.

On July 29, Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee was reported to have said that the government will review the ceiling retail price of standard chickens and the chicken export ban following the end of the implementation of the ceiling price of RM9.40 per kilogramme of chicken in peninsular Malaysia on August 31. — Bernama