Malaysia’s recent chicken export ban had many of us worrying about the fate of our favourite chicken dishes. Fortunately, there is no need to bid farewell to tasty chicken. 

Alongside processed chicken, frozen chicken remains widely available. Only the supply of freshly slaughtered chicken from Malaysia is affected, and Malaysia has recently lifted the ban on kampung and black chickens.

The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has been working closely with industry partners to bring in more chickens. We are increasing our import of chilled chicken from Australia and Thailand, and the import of frozen chicken from Brazil and Argentina. We also continue to explore new overseas sources of safe food. For instance, Indonesia has now been approved as a new import source for chilled, frozen and processed chicken, joining the list of over 20 accredited countries that Singapore can import chickens from.

In addition to diversifying our food sources, SFA is also supporting local farms to grow produce locally, and to expand overseas.

Why did Malaysia ban chicken exports?

The Russia-Ukraine war, disease outbreaks and weather conditions are a few of the main reasons why Malaysia is experiencing a domestic chicken shortage. 

As Russia and Ukraine are major producers of grain, the war has increased chicken feed costs. Chicken production is now more expensive, leading to a supply shortage in Malaysia which in turn affects chicken prices in Singapore. 

To address this domestic shortage, Malaysia had banned the export of all types of chicken from 1 June to ensure there is sufficient supply in the domestic market. This temporary ban will be in place until their chicken production recovers[1].  

What can I do during this period of disruption to our chicken supplies?

While the Government works to minimise the impact of the supply disruption, Singapore will continue to face disruptions in our food supply from time to time, due to climate change, disease outbreaks or geopolitical developments.

You can play your part by practising the ABCs: 

  • Adapt and be flexible with your protein options
  • Buy only what you need and do not over buy
  • Choose alternatives such as frozen or processed chicken

Fun Fact - Contrary to popular belief, frozen chicken is flash-frozen, which ensures optimum freshness and preserves the nutrients, taste, and texture of the chicken. Find out more here.

If we make these adjustments, Singapore can be resilient to such changes.

Watch video: Worried about Malaysia's recent export ban on chickens?

 

[1] On 14 June 2022, Malaysia allowed exports of live kampung and black chicken. However, the export ban on commercial broiler chicken remained.

 

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NDR 2022
Nuraini Bte Ismail