SINGAPORE — The government will provide a one-month waiver of foreign worker levy for the 11 chicken slaughterhouses in Singapore which have been directly impacted by Malaysia's ban on chicken exports, said the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) on Tuesday (21 June).
The levy waiver will help the industry preserve its capabilities as it continues to cope with the ban that began on 1 June, according to an SFA circular addressed to the slaughterhouses. It is part of a $1.5 billion support package announced on the same day by Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong to help businesses and residents cope with inflation.
The waiver will be automatically applied to Hup Heng Poultry Industries, Kee Song Food Corporation, Sinmah Poultry Processing and eight other chicken slaughterhouses in July, with no further action required by them.
"We will continue to monitor the situation and work with the industry to ensure a stable supply of chicken for Singapore," SFA said.
The industry should implement business continuity plans such as diversifying and maintaining links with multiple sources while the government continues to look for more sources of food imports, SFA added. "This would in turn protect businesses, especially during unexpected supply disruptions."
Malaysia last Tuesday partially lifted the ban on chicken exports that was aimed at stabilising production and prices in the country due to a domestic shortage of chickens. The curbs were eased for the exports of live kampung and black chicken.
The ban remains for broiler chickens, larger birds reared in commercial operations, which are the types most commonly exported to Singapore. Chicken rice hawkers and wet market poultry sellers in Singapore mainly sell such chickens.
Kampung chickens and black chickens are smaller varieties of chickens that are considered premium and more expensive varieties, as netizens recently found out when NTUC Fairprice listed two organic kampung chickens for S$72.27.
Singapore also imports chickens from countries such as Brazil and the US, but a majority of these are usually frozen, as well as chilled chickens from Australia and Thailand. Authorities are also looking at importing chickens from Indonesia for the first time, following the Malaysian ban.
Of Singapore’s chicken imports totalling about 214,400 tonnes last year, about a third, or almost 73,000 tonnes, were from Malaysia. Almost all of the Malaysian imports were live chickens, which were slaughtered and chilled in Singapore.
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