UPDATE 1-Malaysia says ban on chicken exports expected to end on Aug. 31
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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Malaysia's ban on chicken exports is expected to end on Aug. 31, as domestic prices and supplies have begun to stabilise, the agriculture minister told parliament on Thursday.
Malaysia, which supplies live chickens mainly to neighbouring Singapore and Thailand, in June halted exports in an effort to stabilise output and prices at home, after a global feed shortage triggered by the Russia-Ukraine war disrupted production.
Malaysia now had a slight oversupply of chicken following the export ban, Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Ronald Kiandee said on Monday.
Opposition lawmaker Wong Shu Qi on Thursday criticised the ban, saying it had forced Malaysia's buyers to purchase chicken from other sources.
In response, Kiandee justified the ban, saying it was temporary and that similar protectionist steps had been taken by other countries facing food shortages.
"When conditions are stable - not just oversupply in a few locations, but all across the country - of course, the government will make a decision to allow exports," he said.
Kiandee said the government was also examining factors like the stability of supplies and farming capacity to decide whether it would review other measures such as subsidies and ceiling prices imposed on chicken and egg products after Aug. 31.
The government has approved 1.1 billion ringgit ($247.08 million) in subsidies for chicken and egg farmers to help them face a rise in feed costs and the loss of export revenue, he said. ($1 = 4.4520 ringgit) (Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor)
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