Any decision to lift the export ban on chicken and on the setting of new ceiling prices for chicken and eggs will only be finalised after the relevant ministries and agencies submit their reports on the status of the supply and demand to the Special Task Force on Jihad Against Inflation.
Taskforce chairman Annuar Musa said those responsible, including the Veterinary Services Department (DVS) and the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM), had been given a week to present their findings to the committee.
Although many poultry breeders have requested that the ban be lifted following high demand from Singapore, Annuar asked all parties to be patient and to allow the taskforce to assess the findings to ensure that everything is 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 at a media conference after chairing the taskforce meeting in Putrajaya yesterday.
Annuar said the new price of chickens and eggs after Aug 31 will include input from the DVS and DOSM, including the availability of imported chicken, chicken produced locally and the quantum of chicken that can be re-exported.
He said DOSM had been tasked with making computations 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 that 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, has been asked to determine the relationship between the supply of imported chicken, imported chicken kept as buffer stock, and imported chicken in the market, taking into consideration the price of chicken produced in the market to determine total existing stocks at any given time and the total needed for export, he added.
"Once these figures are presented to the taskforce, we can decide whether to review the chicken export ban and on allowing the importation of chicken without approved permits as announced previously," he said.
On July 29, Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Ronald Kiandee was reported to have said that the government would review the ceiling retail price of standard chickens and the chicken export ban after the end of the implementation of the ceiling price of RM9.40 per kg for chicken in Peninsular Malaysia on Aug 31.