Ministry matters

Indonesia will ‘very soon’ export chickens to Singapore, agriculture ministry says

JAKARTA: Indonesian companies will start exporting chicken products to Singapore “very soon”, the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture said in response to questions from the CNA on Wednesday (July 6th).

Meanwhile, the ministry said it was working with more companies to get permission to export chicken products to the neighboring country.

This comes after Singapore announced on June 30 that it had added Indonesia as a new import source for chilled, frozen and processed chicken.

According to the Singapore Food Agency (SFA), three Indonesian companies have been granted permission to export chicken meat and chicken meat products to the country.

Two of the companies are Indonesian subsidiaries of Thai food conglomerate Charoen Pokphand, while the other is a subsidiary of Indonesian frozen food giant Japfa Comfeed.

Mdm Tri Mela Sari, director of the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture, told CNA that the three accredited companies have not yet exported their products to Singapore.

“When these companies can start exporting chickens to Singapore will depend on B2B (business-to-business) negotiations between Indonesian companies and their (Singaporean) counterparts. The amount (of chicken meat) that would be exported will also depend on B2B negotiations,” she said.

“We will start exporting very soon. We will let you know when (the deal) is finalized.

The director of the Ministry of Animal Products Processing and Marketing added that 12 other Indonesian companies are currently applying for permission to export chicken products to Singapore. All applications have been submitted to the SFA.

“We are now waiting for the SFA to begin its audit process. The government hopes that (the audit) can be conducted soon,” said Mdm Mela Sari.

Last month, an SFA team traveled to Indonesia to audit Indonesia’s food safety and animal health controls. The team visited various facilities such as farms, quarantine stations and laboratories to better understand the regulatory systems in place.

The SFA said individual establishments and farms must be assessed and approved, with detailed documentary assessments and on-site audits for verification.

According to an estimate from the Ministry of Agriculture last month, chicken meat production in Indonesia in 2022 is expected to reach 5.9 million tonnes.

Domestic demand for chicken meat is estimated at 5.3 million tonnes this year. This means that there would be an average monthly surplus of around 50,000 tonnes.

“We are experiencing an oversupply (of chicken) nationally. Our surplus is quite large,” Mr. Nasrullah, director general of livestock and animal health at the Ministry of Agriculture, told CNA.

According to the ministry, Indonesia exported about 500 tons of chicken last year, mostly to its neighboring country, Timor Leste.

Singapore imported 214,400 tons of chicken meat last year, about a third of which came from Malaysia.

Malaysia has implemented an export ban of up to 3.6 million chickens per month, following domestic supply and price issues, with some chicken traders selling whole chickens above price ceiling to cover their costs.

Following the export ban, Singapore announced that it would source chickens from other countries, including Indonesia and Thailand.

There have been calls from Malaysian chicken farmers for Putrajaya to lift the ban, or risk losing out in the Singapore market.