KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK, REUTERS) – There is currently an oversupply of chicken in Malaysia, following “effective” intervention measures taken by the government to stabilise supplies after months of shortage, the Agriculture and Food Industries Minister said.
Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee said measures such as abolishing approved permits, opening up imports and temporarily halting exports to stabilise domestic supplies, have been “effective”.
“We currently have a slight oversupply of chicken, which has caused the prices of chicken in the market to be lower than that of the ceiling price set by the government,” he said during the question and answer session in Parliament on Monday (Aug 1).
He said at this juncture, Malaysia could produce up to 106 per cent of its self sufficiency level for chicken.
“That means we have the capacity to export chicken from our country,” he added.
Datuk Kiandee was responding to a supplementary question by Ms Nurul Izzah Anwar, Member of Parliament from the Opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan, on how long the export ban will continue, now that the poultry industry is already producing chicken at a self-sufficiency level of over 100 per cent.
He was quoted as saying recently that the government will review the chicken ceiling price and approval to export chicken after the implementation of the RM9.40 (S$2.90) per kg ceiling price in Peninsular Malaysia ends on Aug 31.
Malaysia imposed a temporary ban on chicken exports from June 1, to stabilise its domestic supplies and prices.
It provided nearly 73,000 tonnes of chicken to Singapore in 2021, or roughly 34 per cent of the Republic’s chicken supply. Most of the chicken was imported live and slaughtered in local abattoirs.
The ban was partially lifted to allow certain categories of chicken, such as black chicken and kampung chicken, to be exported.
However the ban on commercial broiler chicken, which makes up the biggest portion of Singapore’s chicken imports from Malaysia, is still in place.
Singapore has sought to further diversify its sources of chicken since the export ban.
On June 30, the Singapore Food Agency approved Indonesia as a new source of frozen, chilled and processed chicken meat, adding to a list of more than 20 accredited countries including Brazil, Thailand and Australia.
Indonesian companies are also exploring setting up farms in the Riau Islands province, from which live chicken can be transported to Singapore via sea.
Meanwhile some poultry importers in Singapore have resorted to cutting staff pay and giving them unpaid leave amid uncertainty over when Malaysia would lift its ban on exporting live broiler chickens.