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Pork Prices Head Up Ahead of Chinese New Year

by 5m Editor
18 January 2010, at 8:31am

MALAYSIA - Pork sellers are complaining about the rising price of pgi meat, which is squeezing their margins.

The escalating price of live pigs is taking a toll on pork sellers, causing a slow-down in their businesses and raising the possibility of a 20 per cent increase in pork prices before Chinese New Year.

The Star of Malaysia reports that, according to the Selangor and Federal Territory Butchers’ Association, pig farmers have increased their prices by almost 45 per cent in the past six months.

Association member Wong Chee Kat, said the price of live pigs was 760 ringgit (MYR) per 100kg now, compared to MYR530 in 2007, adding that the drastic price increase had left pork sellers with little or no profit at all.

Mr Wong said: "We are talking about more than MYR1,000 per pig now. Before, a pig used to cost around MYR600.

"How are we supposed to make a profit? We also have to pay our workers and other expenses.

"We have fewer customers now because pork is expensive. If customers were buying pork everyday before, it's only once a week now or on special occasions, as they are switching to other alternatives like chicken."

Mr Wong was speaking at a press conference after association members gathered at the Jinjang Utara market to voice their collective opinion on the issue.

Association adviser, Datuk Dr Lee Chong Meng, said it was ridiculous for farmers to cite increased costs of production because the prices of the main food for pigs, like corn and soy, showed little increase from 2007.

He said the matter had been taken to the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry a few times with no result. "All we are asking for is a fair price," said Dr Lee.

Meanwhile, Domestic Trade, Coope-ratives and Consumerism Minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, said pork would be among food items included in the price control list for the Chinese New Year celebration.

After opening a Consumer Awareness campaign in Penang, he told The Star: "We had set a ceiling price for turkey meat during Christmas last year. So, it is only fair that we include pork for the Chinese New Year."

The price control will apply from 7 to 21 February.