S'pore expecting more supplies of chicken from multiple sources: MOS Desmond Tan

Mr Tan also said that Singapore will continue to face disruptions to its food supplies from time to time. ST PHOTO: FELINE LIM

SINGAPORE - Singapore can expect more supplies of chilled chicken from Australia and Thailand, as well as frozen chicken from sources such as Brazil and the United States in the coming weeks.

Giving this update on Saturday (June 4), Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment Desmond Tan said the country's chicken supply remains stable, despite Malaysia's export ban which began on Wednesday.

Malaysian authorities had said the ban would be in place until production and chicken prices stabilise. Malaysia typically exports 3.6 million whole chickens each month.

Singapore imports about a third of its chickens, or more than two million birds monthly, from Malaysia.

"Rest assured, there is adequate supply of chicken for everyone if we continue to do our purchase normally," said Mr Tan in a Facebook post.

C S Tay Foods, distributor of premium cage-free S Pure chilled chicken from Thailand, said that it has secured a weekly supply of up to 75,000 packets of chicken parts from the current 8,000 packets if demand increases. Next week, for instance, it will be importing 26,000 packets. 

“Chilled chicken is airflown as the product has a shorter shelf life than frozen ones,” said Mr Marc Tay, executive director of C S Tay Foods.

Checks by The Straits Times on May 31, a day before the export ban kicked in, showed that most Singaporeans did not buy more chickens to hoard. Most consumers in Singapore were also willing to switch to frozen chicken alternatives.

Mr Tan said that he had visited a few supermarkets on Saturday morning, and observed that they were well stocked with chicken - whole and parts, raw and ready-to-eat, frozen and processed, as well as some chilled.

He added that Singapore will continue to face disruptions to its food supplies from time to time.

For instance, the local egg supply contracted in February due to an outbreak of Newcastle disease at Seng Choon Farm, one of Singapore's three largest egg farms. This caused production to fall by 40 per cent to 50 per cent.

Singapore had to ramp up supplies from other sources, including Malaysia and Thailand, to continue to meet local demands.

The Russia-Ukraine war also crimped the supply of wheat globally as both nations account for a third of the world's supply.

He added: "We may not fully mitigate these disruptions, but I'm confident that we can get through these occasional disruptions by working together closely."

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