Local importers expect first batch of live chickens from Malaysia to come in later this week, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Local importers expect first batch of live chickens from Malaysia to come in later this week

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Singaporeans will have to wait a little longer for fresh broiler chicken from Malaysia.

Malaysian authorities had confirmed on Sunday that the chicken export ban would be lifted on Oct 11, but local importers are expecting live broiler chickens to only come in later this week.

There will also be fewer chickens coming in after Malaysia's Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiand told Bernama on Monday that the export number of live commercial broiler chickens will be halved and eased in periodically.

Mr Tan Koon Seng, director of Lee Say Group, which is the sole proprietor of Lee Say Poultry Industrial, said on Monday there was still paperwork to sort out before the chickens can be brought in.

"It's a public holiday in Malaysia today (Oct 10)... we still need to apply for a permit with Malaysia's DVS (Department of Veterinary Services) tomorrow, then we'll get it the day after, and then from Thursday the chickens will come out of Malaysia," said Mr Tan Koon Seng.

Mr James Sim, head of business development at Kee Song Food, another local importer, said Malaysia still wants to control the number of chickens it exports.

"The volume of chickens coming in will be half of what they used to import in. This is because Malaysia is controlling the number of chickens going out of the country for the time being,"said Mr Sim.

According to Bernama, Datuk Seri Dr Ronald said that while the pre-ban limit was 3.6 million chickens per month, 1.8 million will be allowed for export upon the easing of restrictions.

He said each farm has a set export quantity limit based on the planning data and the monthly chicken production projections which it has to adhere to.

Non-compliance will lead to the suspension of its export permit.

Additionally, the farms exporting chickens are not allowed to claim subsidies for chicken production for the export market.

The subsidies are provided by the Malaysian government to ensure the availability and continuity of local chicken supply at reasonable prices for Malaysians.

Dr Ronald added that the supply of chickens in Malaysia had started to stabilise in the third quarter of the year, with an average surplus production rate of 1.8 million birds per month.

"The ministry, through the DVS and the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Department, will continue to monitor the supply of chicken in the country, as well as the implementation of live commercial broiler (chicken) exports which will involve almost 100 exporting breeders through the monitoring mechanism that has been developed," he said.

Malaysia imposed the ban on chicken exports on June 1 following a local shortage of supply. At the time, about a third of Singapore's chicken came from Malaysia.

The export ban was partially lifted after the Malaysian Cabinet decided on June 8 to allow the export of live kampung chicken and black chickens to Singapore.

The ban was eased further in October with several caveats, including allowing only selected farms to resume exports.