Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Malaysia will cease exporting chickens from Wednesday in a protectionist transfer to bolster home meals provides, inflicting angst in neighboring Singapore, the place hen rice is a nationwide dish.
Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob introduced final week that beginning June 1, Malaysia will ban exports of three.6 million chickens monthly till home costs and manufacturing stabilize. The transfer is being felt most in Singapore, which sources a 3rd of its poultry from Malaysia.
Nearly all chickens are imported stay to Singapore, the place they’re slaughtered and chilled. Singaporean customers rushed to top off on recent hen earlier than the ban, with native media reporting that cabinets in some moist markets and supermarkets have been emptied of poultry.
The Singapore Straits Instances mentioned hen distributors predicted the price of chilled hen may rise by as a lot as 30%, sending costs of hen dishes skyrocketing. The Singapore authorities has urged customers to change to frozen hen and different meat alternate options, and is exploring new markets for recent hen.
However there may be concern in regards to the destiny of the ever present hen and rice that’s offered in every single place from avenue vendor stalls to the most effective accommodations. Common restaurant Tian Tian Hainanese Hen Rice, which sources its poultry solely from Malaysia, mentioned it’s going to introduce pork and seafood dishes as a substitute of utilizing frozen hen if it fails to search out new suppliers.
Malaysia’s protectionist transfer comes as international locations around the globe grapple with rising meals costs, fueled partially by the Ukraine battle. Ukraine is a significant exporter of corn and grains that are key parts of hen feed. India has restricted exports of sugar and wheat, whereas Indonesia briefly halted, then lifted, gross sales of palm oil overseas.
Except for the export ban, Malaysia has additionally abolished import permits for hen and different meals to spice up meals provide and decrease costs amid public anger. Beforehand, it capped hen costs and allotted subsidies to farmers hit by rising hen feed prices, partly brought on by the weakening Malaysian foreign money.
The export ban got here as a shock to Ismail’s authorities, which took workplace in August and faces common elections subsequent yr. The federal government can be investigating allegations that cartels management the worth and provide of hen.
The ban not solely brought about alarm in Singapore, but in addition anxious small Malaysian poultry farmers who provide Singapore to assist maintain their operations afloat. The federal government didn’t say how lengthy the export ban will final, however officers anticipate provide and costs to normalize inside a month.