The Malaysia government yesterday revealed it is banning the export of all poultry from the country while it investigates the illegal activity of cartels controlling the price and shipment of its produce.
Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob made it known Malaysia will halt the exports of 3.6 million chickens a month from June 1, to investigate the cartel pricing allegations.
The Malaysia Competition Commission is investigating reports with Ismail promising to come down hard on any firms found guilty of sabotaging supply.
“If it’s true these cartels exist, we will take legal action against them.”
The nation’s state news agency, Bernama, reported there was a shortage of poultry locally as cartels had planned to stop farm operations over the weekend.
The Minister of Agriculture and Food Industries met 12 producers and livestock groups following a Cabinet meeting that discussed the ban.
The move is likely to hit hard in Singapore, which sources a third of its supply from Malaysia, as well as in Thailand, Brunei, Japan and Hong Kong.
The ban is the latest in a series of protectionist moves as nations around the world battle rising food costs. Indonesia recently banned palm oil exports, India restricted wheat exports, and Serbia and Kazakhstan both imposed quotas on grain shipments.
The Singapore Food Agency said the restriction may result in temporary disruptions to the supply of chilled chicken in the city-state, and urged consumers to be open to switching to frozen chicken or other meat products. Singapore revealed around 34% of its chicken imports were from Malaysia last year, with almost all imported as live chickens.
Selena Ling, head of Treasury Research & Strategy at OCBC Bank in Singapore says the city-state could manage if the disruption to chicken supply is temporary.
“But if it’s persistent and more worryingly, reflective of more protectionist measures by other countries over food security and inflation concerns, then this could be a lose-lose scenario for everyone.”
In 2020, Malaysia exported poultry meat worth $18.9 million, making it the 49th largest exporter of the product in the world.
Source Bangkok Post
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