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Egg, fish shortages continue to plague consumers

Publish date: Wed, 30 Nov 2022, 08:52 PM

SHAH ALAM: Two protein staples of most consumers, eggs and fish, have seen increased retail prices and limited availability.

Checks by the New Straits Times at wet markets and supermarkets in Seksyen 6 and Seksyen 16, here, showed empty egg shelves and limited types of fish being sold.

Customer Othman Badaruddin, 35, said the prices of fish differed from time to time.

"The prices of fish would be different according to the weather. During the monsoon, it would be much more expensive," he said. 

Othman said if the government could establish a standard maximum price for meat and fish products, it would help resolve issues such as providing subsidies during the monsoon season.

Fishmonger Rizal Razak, 46, said although the prices of fish fluctuated depending on the weather, his business was still good.

"Although there may be fewer fish available during the monsoon, we can still sell fish here. We also don't offer our customers frozen fish because it isn't fresh.

"The costs vary between RM2 and RM3, but my consumers don't mind," he added.

Seksyen 16 wet market customer Roslina Darmin, 52, said inconsistent fish and egg prices led to her tightening her purse strings.

"Because of pricey and scarce supplies, I have to buy fewer items in smaller quantities.

"Thankfully, despite the rising costs, every item I bought from here (at the Seksyen 16 wet market) was fresh and in good condition."

Egg vendor Syafiqa Izzati Ismail, 22, expressed her frustration with the supply shortage over the past two months.

"Sometimes, I have to close my stall for two to three days a week as there is not enough egg supply.

"Suppliers also reduced the allotment of grade A eggs to traders from 100 trays to just 60 trays and the prices kept rising," she told the NST.

The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry's prosecution unit head and Selangor media unit enforcement officer Nor Wahida Muhammad said the ministry continuously monitored the prices of products.

She added that that the ministry's Selangor branch was investigating the shortage of eggs and fluctuation of prices in markets in the state.

"Our team will do daily spot checks of markets in Selangor to monitor prices and gather information to resolve the current issue.

"As per our new prime minister's mandate, we will tighten spot checks at markets in Selangor to obtain the precise numbers regarding the shortage of eggs and other issues as well," she said.

Yesterday, the Kuala Lumpur Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry urged consumers not to panic-buy eggs, vowing to solve the item's shortage in the federal capital.

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