Fresh chicken from Malaysia returns to Singapore after 4 months
The fresh chicken is likely to be 25 per cent more expensive than before, according to suppliers.
SINGAPORE: Fresh broiler chicken made a return to supermarkets and wet markets in Singapore on Thursday (Oct 13) afternoon – just days after Malaysia partially lifted its export ban.
The chicken is likely to be 25 per cent more expensive than before, according to suppliers.
Hawkers and caterers told CNA that they are in no hurry to get their hands on the fresh meat, despite potential pent-up demand over the past four months due to Malaysia's ban on live chicken exports.
Mr Muhammad Firdaus, owner of Pasar Vibes Chicken in Jurong, said he is not rushing to place his usual daily order of 20 chickens from suppliers, especially if prices are set to increase.
“People will think twice before they buy,” said Mr Firdaus, adding that he will wait and see if his customers are willing to fork out more for the fresher option.
The Malaysian government had earlier banned the export of up to 3.6 million chickens per month from Jun 1, in its efforts to tackle supply and pricing issues for chicken in the country.
The ban was implemented following complaints of supply shortage and price increases of chicken, with some traders selling their poultry above the price ceiling to cover their costs.
Before the ban, about one-third of Singapore's chicken supply came from its neighbour across the Causeway.
Some sellers are unsure if the partial lifting of the ban to only about half of Malaysia's usual export volume, or 1.8 million chickens, will help their businesses.
Hua Sheng Chicken owner Luo Jing Xian said the limited supply could see prices go up further, by 30 to 40 per cent.
One hawker, who did not give his name, said the supply is not enough for the entire market.
“We have no way of competing with bigger players,” he added. “The more we compete, the higher the prices rise, we will be worse off."
Katong Catering director Wayne Heng hopes that the return of fresh chicken meat would lower the demand and prices of frozen birds.
“Compared to the rest of the market users, we do not need to use fresh chickens. We are mainly using it for curry chicken or chicken rendang, so it is heavier on the taste, but you cannot really taste the difference,” he added.
“Perhaps when they have more supply and prices are stable, then we will make the swap.”
REINSTATING SUPPLY LINES
However, there are some who were happier with the return of live chickens from Malaysia.
One hawker, who also did not give his name, will buy the fresh chicken when they are made available here, adding that “some people don't like the taste of frozen chicken”.
Meanwhile, grocery stores are getting ready to place their usual orders.
Supermarkets contacted said they will be reinstating these supply lines as soon as possible, and are in the midst of confirming a timeline with their suppliers.
For now, they are still getting their supplies from countries such as Thailand and Brazil.
A representative from NTUC FairPrice said: “As a major food retailer, we will continue to employ our ongoing strategy of source diversification to protect consumers from supply disruption.”