KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 15 — The issue of egg shortage in the market is not only a headache for consumers in the peninsula, but also affecting those in Sabah and Sarawak, especially with the Christmas celebrations nearing.

In Sabah, a Bernama survey found that dwindling supplies of the raw food item had affected preparations for the festival, especially for bakeries and confectioneries.

The average consumer around Kota Kinabalu admitted it was not easy to find eggs at wet markets, grocery shops or supermarkets, while the price of the necessity had been increasing.

Housewife Veronica Paul, 50, said she often faced the predicament of eggs running out at supermarkets and grocery shops.

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A fisherman, Abdul Hamid Damang, 42, said the lack of supply of the protein source had forced him to turn to Omega-type eggs at a price of RM20 per tray compared to C-grade eggs which were sold at around RM12.90 per tray.

Meanwhile, an egg dealer at the Kota Kinabalu Market, Hasrul Rizal, 21, said that the supply shortage had begun about two to three months ago, forcing traders to limit the sale of eggs per customer.

He said previously, suppliers sent around 500 trays a day, compared to only 250 trays a day at the moment, and the supply of grade A, B and C eggs was really low.

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“(Usually), the supply of eggs will arrive around 1.30pm or 2.30pm but it will only last for two or three hours as customers snap them up.

There is a similar issue in Sarawak, where the scarcity of eggs and its high demand has led to stocks running out quickly and prices soaring, to the point of burdening the low-income group.

In Kuching and Sibu, consumers were almost held at ransom to settle for eggs at between RM12 and RM20 for a tray of 30 eggs.

According to housewife Annie Simon, 36, the increase in price of essential goods such as eggs had significantly stretched her family’s finances. — Bernama