KUALA TERENGGANU – The average food stall trader in the city, whose main menu is based on chicken, continues to operate even though supply is relatively difficult to obtain and wholesale prices have gone up slightly in recent days.
Most traders, however, breathed a sigh of relief when the government temporarily imposed a ban on chicken exports from June 1 and hoped that the shortage of birds in the market could be addressed immediately.
Muhammad Adam Zawawi, 28, owner of Pak Awi Nasi Ayam said the wholesale price of chicken currently breached RM10 per kg, but he continued to operate the restaurant despite very minimal profit.
“I would not be comfortable in raising the price of my chicken rice because it will burden customers,” said Muhammad Adam, who currently gets his supply from two wholesalers to ensure his restaurant runs smoothly.
The owner of Mek Jang Cafe, Nor Harizan Hassan, 44, said she has reduced her sale of ‘nasi ganja’ because she could only source 15 to 20 chickens a day.
“When there is not enough chicken, I cannot sell ‘nasi ganja’ in large quantities as usual and business is affected so I hope the issue related to chicken can be resolved as soon as possible,” she said.
Nor Harizan said she usually needed between 30 to 40 chickens a day, but has to fall in line with the current shortage and be satisfied with a smaller sales volume.
Meanwhile, a survey by Bernama found that chicken in supermarkets could still be purchased at normal prices while traders in regular shops charged higher prices claiming wholesale price has gone up.
On Monday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the government would stop the export of 3.6 million chickens a month, starting June 1, until domestic supply and price returns to stability.
In a statement, the prime minister said the decision was one of several short-term measures reached at the Cabinet meeting on the issue of chicken supply and prices.