SINGAPORE: Malaysia’s restrictions on fish and shrimp exports are not likely to have a significant impact on Singapore's overall seafood supply, said the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) on Wednesday (Dec 19).
The statement came after Monday's announcement by the Malaysian government that it would prohibit the export of four species of wild-caught fish and shrimp to meet the shortage in the market during the festive and monsoon seasons.
"In October 2018, Malaysia informed AVA that it would implement its seasonal export restrictions on five species of fish, and prawns/shrimp from 1 Jan to 28 Feb 2019 and 1 May to 30 Jun 2019.
READ: Expect usual price hike for fish during Chinese New Year, not due to Malaysia's export ban: Fish merchants
"Such export restrictions have been in place over the past six years, due to lower supply during the monsoon season and higher demand during festive periods," said AVA.
The authority added: "Based on past years’ experience, the export restrictions are not likely to have a significant impact on our overall seafood supply, as importers are well-prepared to tap on other readily available sources during the stated periods."
AVA also said that it would continue to monitor the situation closely.
AVA shared that the affected species are similar to that of previous years and that they include the kembung (Indian mackerel), pelaling (short-bodied mackerel), selar (horse mackerel), selayang/sardin (sardine), bawal (silver pomfret), and udang (all species of shrimp and prawn).
The list includes these species in their live, chilled and frozen forms.
Last year, Malaysia's exports of these six species of seafood were less than 10 per cent of Singapore's total seafood supply, said AVA.
Industry players told Channel NewsAsia on Tuesday that the prices of fish and shrimp will go up in the lead-up to Chinese New Year, but that the change will not be drastically different from in previous years.