KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Diners in Singapore are bracing for prices of their national chicken-and-rice dish to soar as neighbouring Malaysia prepares to block exports starting June 1st to increase supplies in its own markets and hold down surging prices.
Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced last week that, beginning June 1, Malaysia will ban exports of 3.6 million chickens a month until domestic prices and production stabilize. The move is felt most in Singapore, which sources a third of its poultry from Malaysia.
Almost all the chickens are imported live to Singapore, where they are slaughtered and chilled. Singapore consumers have been rushing to stock up on fresh chicken ahead of the ban, with local media reporting that shelves in some wet markets and supermarkets have been cleared of poultry.
The Singapore Straits Times said chicken sellers predicted the cost of chilled chicken could rise by up to 30%, sending chicken dish prices soaring. The Singapore government has urged consumers to switch to frozen chicken and other alternative meats, and is exploring new markets for fresh chicken.
Malaysia’s ban comes as countries worldwide grapple with soaring food prices, fuelled partly by the Ukraine war. Ukraine is a major exporter of corn and grains that are key components of chicken feed.
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