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Malaysia to lift export ban on live broiler chickens from Oct 11: SFA

The Singapore Food Agency said it is seeking clarification on the details.

Malaysia to lift export ban on live broiler chickens from Oct 11: SFA

Chickens are seen at a poultry farm in Temerloh in Malaysia's Pahang state on May 31, 2022. (Photo: AFP/Mohd Rasfan)

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) on Sunday (Oct 9) said Malaysia will lift its temporary export ban on live broiler chickens from Oct 11. 

Responding to CNA's queries, the agency said it received "official notification" from Malaysia's Department of Veterinary Services on the lifting of the ban.

"We welcome the resumption of live chicken broiler imports, and are seeking clarification on the details," said SFA. 

The Malaysian government had earlier banned the export of up to 3.6 million chickens 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.

Explaining the curbs, Malaysia's Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government's priority was its own people and that authorities will also investigate allegations of cartel pricing. 

FILL THE GAP

Malaysia exported poultry meat worth US$18.9 million in 2020, making it the 49th largest exporter of the product in the world.

Its main export markets are Thailand, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong and Brunei, according to the data platform Observatory of Economic Complexity.

Singapore imports about 34 per cent of its chicken supply from Malaysia, almost all of which is brought in as live chickens that are then slaughtered and chilled locally.

To fill the gap amid Malaysia's export ban, Singapore increased imports of chicken meat from Thailand and Indonesia. 

Malaysia's ban was partially lifted in mid-June to allow poultry importers in Singapore to resume bringing in live kampung and black chickens

 

In August, Malaysia's Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Ronald Kiandee said after a period of chicken supply disruptions in the country, the situation has stabilised after steps taken by the government. 

He added that Malaysia was in an oversupply situation and could now export chickens to other countries. 

Chairman of Malaysia's task force against inflation Annuar Musa later added that some farms in Malaysia rearing chicken specifically for export may resume exporting in October after getting approval from the Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry.

“Only certain farms designated for producing chicken can start breeding now for export purposes. But they cannot reduce the existing output or import that has been allowed,” said Mr Annuar.

DIVERSIFY SUPPLY

As Singapore will continue to face disruption in its food supply from time to time due to external factors, SFA said it will continue to accredit more sources of chicken and work with the industry to diversify. 

"We encourage businesses to review their Business Continuity Plans and to diversify further. This helps the industry to spread out and reduce their risks of supply disruptions." 

Households and individuals can also contribute to Singapore's food resilience by being flexible with food and ingredient choices, said SFA. They can also switch to alternative products or sources when necessary. 

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Source: CNA/lk(zl)

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