Malaysia suspends exports of live chickens amid worldwide food shortages

The suspension has caused problems for neighboring Singapore, where chicken rice is considered a national dish.

A+seller+prepares+freshly+butchered+chickens+at+the+Kampung+Baru+wet+market+in+Kuala+Lumpur%2C+Malaysia%2C+Tuesday%2C+May+31%2C+2022.+Malaysia+will+stop+exporting+chicken+from+Wednesday%2C+June+1%2C+in+a+protectionist+move+to+bolster+domestic+food+supply.

VINCENT THIAN/Associated Press

A seller prepares freshly butchered chickens at the Kampung Baru wet market in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, May 31, 2022. Malaysia will stop exporting chicken from Wednesday, June 1, in a protectionist move to bolster domestic food supply.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysia suspended exports of live chickens Wednesday to guarantee adequate supplies for domestic markets, prompting distress in neighboring Singapore, where chicken rice is a national dish.

Singapore consumers rushed to stock up on fresh chicken ahead of the ban, with local media reporting that shelves in some wet markets and supermarkets have been cleared of the meat.

The Singapore government has urged consumers to switch to frozen chicken and other alternative meats, and is exploring new markets for fresh chicken.

Malaysia’s ban comes as countries worldwide grapple with soaring food prices, fueled partly by the Ukraine war. Ukraine is a major exporter of corn and grains that are key components of chicken feed.

Apart from the export ban, Malaysia also abolished import permits for chicken and other foods to boost food supply and curb prices amid public anger.

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