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SFA working to minimise impact on supply after Malaysia curbs export of chickens

SFA working to minimise impact on supply after Malaysia curbs export of chickens

File photo of chickens kept in a cage waiting to be sold at a market in Kuala Lumpur, as Malaysia reported an outbreak of a highly contagious H5N1 bird flu virus in the northern part of the country. (AFP PHOTO/Jimin LAI)

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said on Monday it was working to minimise impact on supply after Malaysia imposed curbs on the export of chickens. 

Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Monday announced the decision to curb halt the export of up to 3.6 million chickens from Jun 1 to address domestic supply shortage.  

“The government’s priority is our own people,” Mr Ismail Sabri said in a statement. 

In a Facebook post, SFA said that approximately 34 per cent of Singapore’s chicken imports in 2021 were from Malaysia. Almost all of these were imported as live chickens which were slaughtered and chilled in Singapore.

Other major sources of chicken include Brazil (49 per cent) and United States (12 per cent).

"SFA is closely monitoring the situation on imports from Malaysia and working with stakeholders, such as importers to minimise the impact on our chicken supply," it said. 

"For example, they will activate their supply chains to increase imports of chilled chicken from alternative sources, increase import of frozen chicken from existing non-Malaysia suppliers, or draw from their stocks of poultry."

The agency also urged consumers to be open to switching choices, such as consuming frozen chicken instead of chilled. 

"While there may be temporary disruptions to the supply of chilled chicken, frozen chicken options remain available to mitigate the shortfall," said SFA. 

"We strongly encourage consumers to play their part by being open to switching choices within and across food groups (such as consuming frozen chicken instead of chilled) as well as other sources of meat products. We also advise consumers to buy only what they need."

Source: CNA/am(rw)