Singapore and Indonesia authorities are hoping to reach an agreement for the city-state to start importing chickens from its neighbour within a matter of weeks or days, Reuters reported on June 20, 2022.
Potential source of chicken imports
Susiwijono Moegiarso, a senior official at Indonesia's Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs, said he hoped exports could start by June 2022, effectively in about a week, following "technical discussions" between representatives from both countries.
An agreement to export poultry has to be reached first.
According to an earlier report, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) was "working closely" with Indonesian authorities over accreditation of the country as a potential source of chicken imports.
Indonesia has never sold chickens to Singapore.
Indonesia has chicken surplus
Indonesia currently has a surplus in chicken production, which meets Singapore's current demand.
Of the 55 million to 60 million birds produced per week, Indonesia still has a surplus of around 15 to 20 per cent after domestic consumption, Achmad Dawami, the chairman of the Indonesian Poultry Breeders' Association, told Reuters.
Singapore has an estimated demand of 3.6 million to 4 million birds per month, effectively absorbing some of the slack.
Indonesia has more than 270 million people, making it Southeast Asia's biggest and most populous country.
Live vs slaughtered chickens issue
Currently, Singapore wants to import live chickens in order to keep domestic slaughterhouses operational, Reuters quoted Dawami saying.
However, it was reported that Indonesian producers preferred exporting slaughtered chicken as they are unfamiliar with shipping live poultry.
But a pressing solution is being sought.
"Hopefully within the next two weeks there would be realisation, if we have to wait for months we will miss the momentum," Dawami said.
Singapore is looking to find alternative supply sources for chicken after neighbour Malaysia restricted exports in June 2022 until local production and soaring costs stabilise.
In mid-June, Malaysia moved to partially lift its export ban on certain premium chickens, but still instituted a ban on exporting commercial broiler chicken and other types of chicken products.
Commercial broiler chicken make up a majority of Singapore's chicken imports from Malaysia.