Invest More in Chicken

by Andrew Stein

While listening to the radio in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the same news story was repeated multiple times in an hour segment. The price of chicken in Malaysia has reached a 10-year high. Chicken now costs more than 6 ringgit ($2 USD) per kilogram, which surpasses the 1999 record price of more than 5 ringgit ($1.70 USD). Chicken supply is just not meeting the needs of the chicken demand. And as one of the largest fast food chains in Asia, KFC may be one of the culprits. Here’s an article from the Malaysian Star Newspaper explaining the issue in more detail:

Country’s chicken shortage to be overcome by next month
By P. ARUNA

KUALA LUMPUR: The shortage of chicken in the country is expected to be overcome by next month, said Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar.

He said that the shortage was due to several factors, including the unexpected high demand that exceeded the supply of chicken after the Chinese New Year.

There is usually a drop in demand between April and June after the festive season.

This year, the high demand for chicken continued into the school holidays after the festive season,” he said, adding that the poultry industry had not been prepared for the continuous demand.

Commenting on the recent price increase for dressed chicken, he said that prices would stabilise by next month when the supply returned to normal.

Noh added that floods in several states, including Negri Sembilan, Malacca and Johor, early this year and the 60% surge in the price of chicken feed last year also contributed to the shortage.

The Veterinary Services Department (VSD) would take several immediate measures to ensure sufficient supply of chicken, he added.

A national buffer stock programme will be implemented to stabilise the price of dressed chicken,” he said, adding that excess supply of chicken would be frozen and stored for distribution to locations facing shortage.

He said 24 import permits were issued to private companies but none were used as the price in neighbouring countries was higher.

Currently, Malaysia imported only chicken parts while local poultry farmers produce adequate whole chicken to meet the demand.

Noh said that the shortage of chicken had nothing to do with the disaster in Japan as the country did not import meat from Japan.

There are no production plants in Japan that meet our halal standards,” he said, adding that the VSD would make an audit trip to Thailand next month to increase the import of chicken from the country.

Department director-general Datuk Dr Abdul Aziz Jamaluddin said that the daily demand for chicken in the country stood at 1.2 million.

The supply of chicken is usually more than enough with 1.3 million, but it has now dropped to below 1.2 million daily,” he said.