And maybe you feel heart pain having to pay that extra few dollars or worse, forgo chicken rice now that your favourite stall is closed.
Whatever the reason, the chicken withdrawal symptoms won’t be around for long. Here’s why.
Ban Will Not Last
On Thursday (2 June), Malaysia’s Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said he is optimistic that Malaysia would be able to bring down domestic prices of chicken and resume exports of poultry to Singapore soon.
He then added that the ban is unlikely to last a few months.
“We value our bilateral relationship with Singapore. This is not an easy decision for us to make. So we hope that it is very temporary in nature until the supply and price situation is stabilised,” Mr Khairy said.
Impact on Singapore
Since the export ban kicked in on 1 June, Singapore has felt the impact of fresh chicken shortages, especially since we depend on Malaysia for one-third of our chicken supply.
Over the past few days, supermarkets and wet markets also ran out of fresh chicken as people rushed to buy them before the ban.
Some popular hawker stalls and eateries also saw long queues, with some hawkers and restaurant owners deciding to close for a while as they would not be able to use frozen chicken in place of fresh chicken.
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Shortages and Price Hike in Malaysia
Despite the export ban, life across the border hasn’t been any easier.
Supply chain issues had made it harder and more expensive to procure chicken feed.
Additionally, climate issues have also affected the time taken for chickens to grow, leading to a “very difficult situation” for Malaysia with the shortage and soaring prices.
As a result, the move was made last week to block the export of up to 3.6 million whole chickens a month, in a bid to stabilise domestic supplies after the prices of chicken soared.
Malaysia has set a retail ceiling of RM8.90 (S$2.78) per kg for chicken, but prices have gone up to RM13 per kg in some places, according to news reports.
Mr Khairy said, “While countries obviously will look to securing their own food requirements, we’re also well aware that we have responsibility as exporters to our neighbours, including Singapore.”
He added that the situation is already improving with efforts to work with poultry producers in Malaysia to increase production and secure cheaper substitutes for chicken feed under way.
“Once these things resolve themselves, and we hope that they can be resolved very quickly, then, of course, we hope to resume exports of poultry, including to Singapore,” he said.
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