Singapore has an adequate supply of frozen chicken and there is no need to hoard, Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment Desmond Tan said on May 26 to reassure the public as Malaysia is set to ban the export of chicken.
"Should expect disruptions"
This comes after Malaysia's Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said on May 23 that the country is experiencing a domestic chicken shortage.
As a result, Malaysia will be halting its chicken exports to Singapore come June 1, 2022.
Tan said on Facebook that Singapore imports a third of its chickens from Malaysia.He added that almost all of these are live chickens that are subsequently slaughtered and chilled in Singapore.
Singapore's supply of fresh and chilled chicken will likely be disrupted due to Malaysia’s upcoming suspension of chicken exports.
"Adequate supply for everyone"
However, there is "adequate supply for everyone", he added, and advised Singaporeans to be responsible by buying only what they need and not to hoard.
He also cautioned that surge buying of chickens will empty out shelves in the short term because the supply chain will not be able to catch up to the demand.
Frozen chicken supply not impacted
Besides Malaysia, Singapore also imports chicken from Brazil and the United States, and the protein is the most widely consumed meat in Singapore.
Tan said the remaining 70 per cent of Singapore's supply of frozen chickens have not been impacted.
He also encouraged Singaporeans to be open to processed chicken in the form of canned chicken and chicken nuggets and other alternative proteins.
Tan said he observed consignments of frozen chicken arriving as per usual during his visit to NTUC FairPrice’s Fresh Food Distribution Centre.
The shelves were also well-stocked with frozen chicken and alternatives.
According to The Straits Times (ST) on May 26, FairPrice currently has a stockpile of frozen chicken that can last for about four months, with another two months' worth of supply on the way here.
Tan said Singapore is currently looking to other countries like Australia as an alternative source of chilled chicken, according to ST.
At the same time, the government will continue to monitor the situation closely and work with stakeholders to ensure there is an adequate supply of chickens in Singapore.
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Top image by Mothership and from Desmond Tan/Facebook