Lift chicken export ban to Singapore before it is too late, Malaysian breeders tell government

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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s poultry industry players have urged the government to lift the chicken export ban, or they will lose out on the Singapore market. 

They also stressed that supply in the domestic market has already stabilised.

Federation of Livestock Farmers’ Associations of Malaysia (FLFAM) advisor Jeffry Ng said they are in talks with the government about ending the export ban, which took effect from Jun 1.

He said a lot of farmers are chasing the association as they have ongoing contracts with Singapore customers, whom they have cultivated a relationship with for many years.

“We should continue to provide the service. That is a market that we had for a long time,” he told CNA. 

“Some of the farms are solely catering to the export market and not the local market. If they cannot export, then their operations will have to change,” he added. 

The export ban of up to 3.6 million chickens a month was introduced following supply and pricing issues in Malaysia, with some chicken traders selling whole chickens above the price ceiling to cover their costs. 

Rising production costs, disease infection and weather conditions were among the factors affecting the operations of chicken farms. 

In response to the export ban, Singapore, which imported about one-third of its chicken supply from Malaysia, announced that it will buy chickens from Indonesia. 

The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said on Jun 30 that Indonesia had been added as a new source for chicken imports, joining a list of more than 20 countries accredited to export chickens to Singapore.

Johor Poultry Breeders Association secretary Lau Ka Leng told CNA that farmers are worried about losing their Singaporean customers if the export ban is not lifted in time. 

“Most of the chickens exported to Singapore are from farms in Johor,” he said.

He said while breeders can cope with the situation now, there is a worry that they will not be allowed into the Singapore market once the Indonesian exports start. 

“Once you lose a market, it won’t be easy to get it back,” he said, adding that there are about 700 chicken farms in the state.

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