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Malaysia reaffirms live chicken export ban in blow to Singapore

·2-min read
Malaysia reiterated that it will halt exports of all live chickens, shutting off prospects that some restaurants in Singapore could still import free-range or premium birds. (Photo by Zahim Mohd/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Malaysia's export ban, which take effect on 1 June, include live poultry, whole carcasses, chilled and frozen meat, chicken parts and chicken-based products. (Photo by Zahim Mohd/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

By Anuradha Raghu and Low De Wei

(Bloomberg) — Malaysia reiterated that it will halt exports of all live chickens, shutting off prospects that some restaurants in Singapore could still import free-range or premium birds.

The export restrictions, which take effect on June 1, will include live poultry, whole carcasses, chilled and frozen meat, chicken parts and chicken-based products, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries said in a statement late Wednesday. Chicken nuggets, patties and sausages will also be banned.

Malaysia’s move is a major blow to Singapore, which imports about a third of its supply from its neighbour. The ban has left Singapore stores selling chicken products in limbo. Consumers are apprehensive about whether they will still be able to enjoy chicken rice, one of Singapore’s most popular meals.

READ: Singapore’s Famed Chicken Rice to Get Pricier on Supply Halt

The ban is the latest in a series of government measures aimed at easing domestic prices as nations around the world battle rising food costs, partly driven by the war in Ukraine crimping food supplies. Indonesia recently banned palm oil exports temporarily, India restricted wheat and sugar exports, and Serbia and Kazakhstan have imposed quotas on grain shipments.

Singapore media including Business Times and CNA reported earlier that shipments of some higher-end chickens would still be allowed, citing a spokesman for Aqina Farm, which sells kampung (or free-range) chickens and regular broiler chickens. The company said it had confirmed this via virtual meetings with relevant authorities in Malaysia, according to local media.

That situation changed late Tuesday with the Business Times reporting that those products would not be allowed in after all, citing Aqina Farm. The firm didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment from Bloomberg News.

The Singapore Food Agency said Wednesday that Malaysia has officially said it will prohibit exports of live chicken, whole chicken, chicken cuts and parts from June 1 until further notice.

—With assistance from Natalie Choy and Ranjeetha Pakiam.

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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