KUALA TERENGGANU: The Terengganu Ministry of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living (KPDN) has admitted that there has been a drop of up to 33 per cent in the supply of eggs in the state during the month of Ramadan due to a shortage from out-of-state suppliers.

Its director Saharuddin Mohd Kia said it is estimated that people in Terengganu consume one million eggs per day and the supply received is around 600,000 eggs but decreased in Ramadan to only around 400,000 eggs.

“There is no egg farm in Terengganu which gets its supply from farm operators in Melaka, Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Selangor, and Perak.

“The feedback received from the egg wholesalers stated that the main factor behind this sudden drop is due to lack of eggs received from farm operators. It is due to the increasing demand for eggs during Ramadan and the farms prioritise their own local market first,” he said in a statement today.

Saharuddin said purchases above the normal rate by consumers, micro, small and medium enterprise operators and Ramadan bazaar operators also caused certain outlets to run out of eggs earlier before the next shipment arrives as scheduled.

However, he said, an inspection carried out today found that only one out of 13 egg wholesalers as well as one out of 39 selected retailers ran out of supply

“In fact, the outlets have already made bookings and farmers and wholesalers will carry out distribution soon,” he said.

Meanwhile, Saharuddin advised consumers to purchase eggs prudently and reminded traders not to take advantage of the dire shortage to raise prices.

He said traders who deliberately increase the price of eggs can be prosecuted under Section 11 of the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011 and if found guilty, a company can be fined up to RM500,000 and individuals can be fined up to RM100,000 or imprisoned for a maximum period of three years or both or compounded up to RM50,000. - Bernama