PUTRAJAYA: The price of mutton is being monitored to ensure no excessive profiteering, although the product is not on the list of controlled items, says the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry.

It said that although the imported boned mutton was only a controlled item during Deepavali and Christmas, the ministry monitored its price trend daily.

“Enforcement is carried out against profiteering not just during the festive season but throughout the year.

“This is to ensure traders operate their business responsibly and do not engage in unreasonable profiteering,” said enforcement director-general Azman Adam.

The Star reported that with fewer farmers now rearing goats, local mutton is expected to cost more in the coming months, particularly during the Deepavali period when the demand for the meat increases.

The Malaysian Indian Restaurant Owners Association said the usual mutton curry and mutton varuval dishes were now luxury items at restaurants.

At present, a kilo of mutton is priced at RM65.

According to Azman, the ministry received seven complaints about mutton prices in 2021 and three as of July 25 this year.

He said only imported boned mutton was placed on the control item list during Deepavali and Christmas because it was the most sought after by consumers during the festivities.

He said that 1,000 officers monitored the prices of goods daily, including the price of boned mutton.

Based on price monitoring, the national average price of imported boned mutton from Australia is RM38.51 per kg as of July 24, while in January, it was RM38.15.

The current price of the same product from New Zealand is RM41.41 per kg, while in January, it was priced at RM37.86.

Boneless mutton from Australia (minus thigh) is now sold at RM48.34 per kg and RM48.75 per kg (New Zealand).

Azman said the ministry had multiple channels for consumers to report discrepancies, urging them to provide accurate and complete information when lodging reports.