Chicken rice in S'pore to get more expensive, some stalls may close temporarily

Chicken rice.

Nyi Nyi Thet | May 24, 2022, 02:19 PM

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Chicken rice prices are expected to go up soon after news of Malaysia's halt on chicken exports from June 1 onwards.

This will most likely affect chicken rice sellers in Singapore.

According to Bloomberg, the price of chicken had already risen 5.7 per cent in April.

A chicken rice hawker stall owner they spoke to said these higher poultry costs would likely lead to higher prices for consumers.

"'We have to of course increase prices for our customers,' he said. 'We have no choice.'"

The Straits Times said some chicken rice stall owners expect a 10 to 30 per cent increase in price.

Bloomberg also cited an economist at CIMB Private Banking in Singapore, saying customers have to accept that their "chicken-rice chicken may be chilled or frozen instead of live chickens", saying it's the smell and taste perception.

But even that's a bit more complicated due to the upcoming supply halt.


Daniel, the founder of OK Chicken Rice, spoke to Mothership about the supply issues that this might cause.

His halal-certified stalls exclusively use live chickens from Malaysia.

All their current "team resources, SOP, systems, formulas" are calibrated for that particular type of chicken.

The frozen alternatives Daniel has looked into are quite a bit smaller than the chickens their stall is used to working with.

Screenshot from NTUC Fairprice

According to Daniel, frozen chickens are about 1.2kg, while the chicken they are used to working with weighs around 2.3kg.

On his part, Daniel has been checking with importers to see if there's a chance some exports might be allowed.

They have also been trying to see if frozen chicken could serve as a suitable replacement, but he deems it unlikely.

In the worst-case scenario, they are making contingency plans to shutter their operations temporarily.

Stalls could close temporarily

ST also cited other chicken rice stalls saying they might also have to temporarily close their stalls.

Some of their affected employees will be cross deployed to their other sister companies (HumFull Prawn Laksa & Angel Supermart).

The stall had tried to keep its prices low (S$3/S$4), but an increase in electrical bills and other expenses had resulted in them raising their prices by S$0.50 in Jan. 2022.

They had wanted to sustain this price, but now the situation has changed once again. Daniel says the price increase might be "out of our hands now".


Mothership file photo