Friday, July 1, 2022

Singaporeans to settle for drumsticks and breasts as chickens banned from crossing causeway

Importers in the city-state have been scrambling to stockpile chicken before Malaysia's export ban kicks in tomorrow.

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Chicken importers in Singapore scrambling with last-minute preparations before Malaysia’s export ban kicks in tomorrow have urged customers to take whatever chicken parts are available instead of insisting on whole birds.

Singapore’s Straits Times reported that importers in the city-state have been working overtime with some companies even tripling the number of shifts in order to process as much chicken as possible before the ban begins.

“We are working with our customers and have asked them to switch to different… parts, depending on what’s available,” James Sim of Kee Song Food was quoted as saying.

Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said on May 23 that Malaysia would halt exports of 3.6 million chickens a month from June until production and prices stabilise.

Approved permit (AP) requirements for poultry including for whole chicken and parts meanwhile would be abolished to increase opportunities for importers to provide more sources of supply.

This followed the Cabinet’s decision the week before to scrap the APs for importing round cabbage, old coconuts, chicken and milk in a bid to secure food supplies and curtail rising prices.

Singapore relies heavily on Malaysia for food supplies, with around a third of the city-state’s chicken imports coming from its neighbour in 2021.

Malaysia also exports chickens to other countries including Thailand, Japan and Hong Kong.

In Singapore, the ban is expected to affect supermarkest chains, restaurant groups, wet markets, food stalls and online retailers, the Straits Times said.

Operating hours were also extended at the island republic’s animal and veterinary service for the inspection of live birds at the Tuas checkpoint.

“More chickens than usual came in over the weekend… we’ve brought in about 30 to 40% more chicken per day, but that’s all we can process due to limitations of time and labour,” Sim, whose company expects a pounding of 90% to 95% in revenue in the weeks to come, told the daily.

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