TL;DR – With the deadline for the chicken ban being indefinite, here are some things you can do to cope with it.
Malaysia has recently announced an export ban on chickens, which will kick in on June 1. The move was made to ensure sufficient supply in their domestic market. This would undoubtedly affect Singapore, as we import about one-third of our supply from Malaysia.
Eateries and wet market stallholders will be among those to be hit hardest by Malaysia’s export halt, with some having already announced that they will be ceasing operations indefinitely as they rely on fresh chicken.
One reason that contributed to the supply crunch is the rising costs of chicken feed. Some Malaysian farmers lamented that they are mandated to sell below the price ceiling set by the Malaysian government, and hence have decided to rear a lower number of chickens.
SFA’s statement on Malaysia’s chicken ban
In response to reports that Malaysia is halting its chicken exports, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has released a statement on its Facebook page on the situation.
Noting that about 34% of Singapore’s chicken imports in 2021 were from Malaysia, SFA said that they will be closely monitoring the situation on imports from Malaysia and working with stakeholders to minimise the impact on Singapore’s supply.
SFA also assured consumers that while there may be temporary disruptions to the supply of chilled chicken, frozen chicken options remain available. They strongly encourage consumers to be open to switching choices within and across food groups, as well as switching to other sources of meat products.
SFA also advised consumers to buy only what they need.
With the deadline for the ban being indefinite, here are some things you can do to cope with it:
1. Opt for alternative meats
The last thing we want is for everyone to be jostling for frozen chicken at the supermarkets.
Sure, frozen chicken can last for some time in the fridge, but is it necessary to stock up on it and jack up the prices further? In fact, we can already imagine that Singaporeans will be rushing to get their Hainanese Chicken Rice fix over the next few days before the ban kicks in.
2. Download the Price Kaki app
Concerned about the rising cost of frozen chicken or alternative meats? The Price Kaki app launched by the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) is useful for tracking prices of household and grocery items across different supermarkets and retailers, including NTUC FairPrice.
In a Facebook post, Melvin Yong, president of the CASE and Assistant Secretary-General of NTUC said that CASE echos SFA’s call for consumers to consider alternative sources of meat products.
He also encourages consumers to use the Price Kaki app to compare prices of chicken and related products as consumers shop, adding that CASE will also concurrently work towards increasing the number of chicken and related products available on Price Kaki so consumers can continue to stretch their dollar to tide through this sudden impact on our chicken supply.
Knowledge is king and you’ll want to know where the best deals are at.
3. Be cognisant of your finances
With inflation continuing its upwards trajectory and the threat of recession looming, perhaps it’s time to re-look your finances. Consider finding alternatives to that $7 latte, or think twice about that new Chanel you do not need.
4. Hope for the very best –
that our neighbour can resolve their supply crisis soon. And that Brazil will keep the chicken imports coming in.
In the meantime, we’ll miss you, Hainanese Chicken Rice!