Nattawut denies earning Bt131 million from egg deals

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BANGKOK, June 5 – Deputy Commerce Ministry Nattawut Saikua has flatly rejected an allegation that he received Bt131 million in kickbacks or other benefits from egg deals in light of the skyrocketing egg prices in the country.

He said the Commerce Ministry has sought cooperation from egg manufacturers and distributors to maintain egg prices in the local market.

The government’s Egg Board has controlled egg prices at Bt3.30 per unit but, Mr Nattawut said, there is pressure for prices to be jacked up to Bt3.60-3.90 per unit.

“I have straightforwardly talked to them (manufacturers and distributors) without any exterior interest or political motives. It is untrue to charge me with making Bt131 million from manufacturers and from compensation on egg prices granted by the Committee on Policies and Measures to Assist Farmers,” he said.

Mr Nattawut said he will meet today with a sub-committee on egg production costs in order to conclude a new production cost figure to be submitted to the Egg Board for approval.

The Commerce Ministry has instructed the Egg Board to cut egg exports until the country’s egg production and consumption are balanced, he said.

He said Thailand earlier had the problem of egg oversupply, compelling the Egg Board to accelerate exports, but the country is obliged to export 28 million eggs, or an average 1 million eggs per day, to trading partners within this month, he said.