M'sia to import frozen chicken so prices can be cheaper

Supply has gone down after demand squeeze subsided, and now, supply can't go back up to reduce prices.

Belmont Lay | July 26, 2022, 02:52 AM

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Malaysia is going to import frozen chicken to sell as prices of such produce is lower, Bernama reported.

This latest initiative was announced by Noh Omar, the Malaysia entrepreneur and cooperative development minister.

Why import frozen chicken?

He said frozen chicken is expected to be "lower priced".

Importing frozen chicken is to ensure there is sufficient chicken supply in the country, he said.

This comes after Malaysia in June 2022 halted the export of 3.6 million chickens a month to Singapore to save them for themselves to stabilise the price and supply volatility locally.

Singapore, in turn, sought out Indonesia for frozen chicken.

However, it has since been explained and predicted that there could be a possible long-term trend of chicken producers in Malaysia exiting the market as the demand squeeze continues to subside.

Supply has already fallen in tandem, given multiple factors, such as the unsustainability of lower output from continued imposed price ceilings of chicken to make them barely profitable to farm, to the higher cost of manpower and feed that reduces profit margins, where the alternative of producers shutting down is more attractive.

This has led to prices of chicken remaining not as affordable as before any volatility was experienced, given that supply has dropped to meet the lower demand.

Frozen chicken planned to be sold by September

Noh Omar said the initiative is expected to be in place in September.

The frozen chickens imported into Malaysia will be sold via the ministry's cooperative shops or Coopmart.

Hundreds of cooperative shops or Coopmarts are established across Malaysia to alleviate the cost of living burden of Malaysian families and generate more income for cooperative members.

However, Bernama did not state the quantum of the "lower price" of imported frozen chicken.

Noh said: "We are still in the process of bringing in imported chicken to address the issue of hikes in chicken prices following a supply shortage nationwide."

"My ministry has identified several countries for the supply of frozen chicken. In terms of packaging, we will use the Coopmart logo, who will also manage distribution," he told reporters on July 22.

Noh said apart from frozen chicken, other essential items such as sugar, cooking oil, flour and rice would be sold at a lower prices in Coopmart outlets nationwide.

Top photos via Southern SARE Flickr