Malaysia will be halting the export of chickens from June 1 onwards to address its local shortage of the poultry.
Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said on May 23 that this export ban will remain until the prices and production of chicken stabilise, Free Malaysia Today reported.
Exports 3.6 million whole chickens a month
Currently, Malaysia exports around 3.6 million whole chickens a month.
"The government regrets and is disappointed with the actions of some companies that stopped the supply of chicken, causing an increase in prices and lack of supply in the market," Ismail Sabri said.
The Malaysia Competition Commission is currently conducting a probe into claims that cartels were controlling the prices and production of chicken.
Other measures the Malaysian government will implement to deal with the shortage include abolishing the approved permit requirements for the import of chickens, and setting a ceiling price of RM8.9 (S$2.79) per chicken, reported Bloomberg.
Additionally, the government will look into creating a buffer stock of chicken and optimising cold storage facilities owned by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries, reported Malay Mail.
According to Singapore Food Agency, chicken is the most widely consumed meat in Singapore.
One-third of chickens that Singapore imports come from Malaysia, The Straits Times reported.
Singapore also imports chicken from Brazil and the U.S.
Reasons for shortage
According to another FMT article, price hikes for raw materials required to produce chicken feed have contributed to the shortage in Selangor, Malaysia.
Member of the Selangor State Executive Council, Izham Hashim, shared that his office is also looking into whether Thailand and China are facing a shortage as well.
For context, Thailand and China supply around 60 per cent of chicken to Selangor.
According to Izham, earlier reports indicated that there was a high demand for chicken due to the festive season.
The drop in chicken supply could also be due to a poultry disease, but Izham said there had been no official reports on the matter.
According to FMT, one chicken trader in another state, Perlis, had ordered 200 chickens but ended up only receiving 40.
Top photo from Unsplash.