Pork Supply and Prices Assured for New Year

MALAYSIA - Consumers need not worry about having to pay a hefty price for pork during the Chinese New Year festive season as the authorities have assured them that the price will not exceed the current RM13 per kilo.
calendar icon 21 January 2010
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Veterinary Services Department director-general Datuk Dr Abdul Aziz Jamaluddin said prices would not escalate as there would be ample supply during the period and several measures have been put in place, including permission for farmers to sell directly to consumers.

“As a stopgap measure, we will also allow importers to bring in pork in the form of chilled carcasses and cuts to ensure ample supply. We will also allow suckling piglets be imported due to limited supply in the local market.

“There is no need for consumers to panic as pig farmers have assured us that they have no problem meeting demand. We have managed to overcome the same problem every Chinese New Year and there is no exception this year,” he told reporters Thursday.

The temporary import of carcasses and cuts, he said, would be allowed till 28 February and was in addition to the 10 pork-based products whose importation has been allowed by the department.

It is estimated that about 7,000 live pigs will be needed daily in the weeks before and after Chinese New Year, according to The Star Online.

Dr Aziz said two temporary “stock centres” would be set up in Rawang in Selangor and in Kempas, Johor to ensure there would not be any disruption in supply.

“At the same time, the Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Ministry is planning to control the prices of lean pork, lean and fat meat and pork belly. The prices will be announced by the ministry soon,” he said.

He said better co-operation and understanding was needed among farmers, wholesalers, abattoirs and retailers to solve the problem, adding some retailers and wholesalers claimed they did not get supply from farms and this had caused the prices to go up.

“However, when we checked the matter out, farmers informed us that these people had not settled their old dues and therefore were not allowed to get fresh supplies,” Dr Aziz said.

Consumers have voiced their concern over escalating pork prices of late from RM14 per kg in Oct last year to RM22 per kg. Many claimed this was due to escalating prices of live pigs, which have risen from RM730 per 100kg in October to RM760 per 100kg.

However, Dr Aziz said the increase was reasonable, but also pointed out that retailers and wholesalers make a gross profit of RM500 per pig weighing 100kg.

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