KUALA LUMPUR, July 14 (Bernama) -- The rise in prices of chicken reported in many states has not abated, even five days into the fasting month of Ramadan.
Reports today indicate that prices remain high in Perlis and Terengganu but prices in Sarawak have not gone up.
A check at the markets in PERLIS showed that chicken was being sold at RM8 per kg at the Kangar market, lower than at the Behor Lateh weekly market and Taman Sena farmers' market where it is going for RM8.50 per kg.
Fresh chicken is being sold in Abi at RM7.90 per kg and at Beseri, at RM7.70.
Traders said the prices were the best yet because they had been acquiring wholesale chicken at high prices for over a week.
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A check at several Ramadan bazaars in Kangar showed that cooked chicken was being sold at RM3 a piece.
A food trader, Rogayah Salleh, 54, said the uncertain prices of fresh chicken contributed to the higher prices of the cooked meat.
In TERENGGANU, a check at the Payang market showed that the price of standard processed chicken was between RM8.80 and RM9 per kg while grilled chicken and roast chicken at the Ramadan bazaar was going for RM25 a bird.
Several consumers said they had to bargain hard and frequent the same seller to get a slightly better price.
Housewife Izwani Mohamad, 39, said she was forced to buy chicken because her three children love the meat.
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"What can I do? I have to buy chicken, expensive or not. If I want to get it at a lower price, I have to buy more. For example, today I bought five birds and got a discount," she told Bernama.
Chicken trader Mohd Robby Awang, 32, said the rise in prices this time was the highest in 10 years.
"Previously, the highest price was RM8.50 a kg," said Mohd Robby who sells up to 80 birds a day.
Another trader, Mohamad Ali, 62, said business was affected as he could only sell about half of the 80 birds he used to sell by noon daily.
"I also heard rumours that the price may rise to RM10 just before Aidilfitri," he said.
In SARAWAK, the prices of chicken have not gone up. A check by Bernama at the Satok market in Kuching showed that prices ranged from RM8.50 to RM9.50 per kg, below the ceiling price of RM9.50 for the state.
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Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had said that he had not ruled out that the sharp rise in poultry prices was due to price manipulation by retailers as the farm price remained unchanged at RM5 per kg while supply was adequate.
He said the retail prices had shot up to between RM8.50 and RM9 per kg although the ministry had fixed the ceiling price at RM7.80 per kg.
He said the demand for chicken was normally 1.2 million birds a day but increased to 2.2 million to 2.4 million a day nationwide during Ramadan through Aidilfitri.
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