First pork, now eggs: Thailand scrambles to combat food inflation
Deputy PM and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit on Monday warned vendors not to hike the egg price amid a looming shortage.
Jurin said his ministry had not yet approved a price increase and would take legal action against anyone hiking egg or chicken meat prices to exploit consumers.
He was reacting to reports that the egg price is set to jump as farmers can no longer absorb the rising price of chicken feed.
Jurin said farmers who needed to hike the price to reflect rising costs could apply to the ministry, which would grant approval on a case-by-case basis.
He added that the ministry did not want the cost burden to impact small-time farmers and trigger another egg shortage.
Concern over the price of chicken and eggs comes after the pork price soared to around 200 baht per kilogram.
The Commerce Ministry has intervened by selling pork at 150 baht/kg in more than 600 “blue-flag” shops around the country.
The ministry is also seeking more budget to subsidise small-time pig farmers to prevent pork shortages.
The southern hen farming association reports the price of a kilo of chicken feed has risen 3 baht to 15 baht, prompting small farms to raise prices to 3 baht per egg.
Association president Suthep Suwannarat said if they are not allowed to raise prices, smallholders might have to stop farming, which would result in further price pressure.
“Currently, about 51 million hens are being raised for eggs nationwide,” Suthep said. “If small-time farmers have to stop farming, 11-12 million hens would disappear and this could push the retail price past Bt10 per egg.”