Malaysia’s decision to stockpile chickens improves domestic supply, but prices continue to rise

KUALA LUMPUR – The Malaysian government’s decision to stabilize chicken supply has eased the domestic shortage, but has not ended consumer woes as prices continue to soar.

Chicken rice seller Nasruna Rahmat, 47, said she was paying RM2 (63 Singapore cents) more per kg now, compared to April when she paid RM8.10 per kg.

“Yes the supply is back to normal but the wholesale price is down to RM10.10 per kg now,” she told the Straits Times.

“We have no choice but to readjust our price (Chicken Rice) to RM6.50 per serving, it was previously RM6. We got so much criticism for this but we didn’t the choice.”

Earlier this month, the Malaysian government announced it was putting in place a stockpile of whole chickens as one of the short-term measures to tackle food shortages and rising prices.

The first shipment, a container containing 21 tonnes of chicken, arrived on Saturday June 18, while the next batch is expected to arrive on Monday.

Malaysia consumes nearly 3,800 metric tons of chicken per day.

Imported animal feed – the prices of which have risen by around 70% since the start of the war in Ukraine – is the main factor driving up the cost of local chicken production, especially with the ringgit weakened sharply. This has led some farmers to halt production in recent months, which has impacted supply which, in turn, has pushed up chicken prices.

The government has said it will simplify import procedures for four products – soybeans, wheat, corn and animal feed – by deferring permit fees and creating a priority lane for these products until until the supply and price of chicken return to normal.

Authorities will speed up the processing of livestock feed import license applications, granting provisional approvals from July 1, which will reduce the process from 30 to 90 days to seven days. This decision should benefit 380 animal feed importers.

A special exemption will also be granted for recruiting foreign workers into the chicken farming industry during times of labor shortages to help them increase production.

Although creating a stockpile can help ensure a steady supply of chicken, some hawkers think they should still pay a “ridiculous amount” for the chicken.

Ms Nasruna, who runs a stall at a highway rest area in Seremban selling cooked meals served with rice and chicken rice, said she was warned by her supplier that chicken prices would continue to rise. increase in the near future due to import costs.

“A lot of businesses had to close when the price went up too much, so the suppliers also lost. This creates a big impact on small business operators like me who depend on these suppliers – it can cause the price to go up and more raised over time,” she said.

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