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Demand for chicken in Singapore up 10-20% this Lunar New Year

by 5m Editor
10 February 2005, at 12:00am

SINGAPORE - Chicken is definitely back on Singapore's dining tables this Lunar New Year period, after the bird flu scare last year.

Demand for chicken in Singapore up 10-20% this Lunar New Year - SINGAPORE - Chicken is definitely back on Singapore's dining tables this Lunar New Year period, after the bird flu scare last year.

A major chicken supplier says sales of chickens have risen 10 to 20 percent this holiday season as Singaporeans usher in the Year of the Rooster.

Last Lunar New Year, the bird flu virus plagued Asia and some Singaporeans chose to avoid chicken dishes during the festive period.

But one year later, it looks like chicken dishes are back on the menu.

"Compared to last year, this Chinese New Year, demand for chicken is definitely much better. Last year around this time, the bird flu happened in Vietnam and Thailand, so there was a totally lost in consumer confidence. After the lifting of the ban, the consumer confidence has come back or recovered. This year is much better than last year," said Chew Ghim Bok, chief executive of Elite KSB.

The pick up in demand started in the second half of last year.

This helped Elite KSB book a 20 percent jump in profit for the six months to December to S$3.7 million.

Elite KSB, which supplies 30 percent of the chickens in Singapore, imports the bulk of its chickens from Johor.

Although the company was hit by the ban on the import of live chickens from Malaysia, which lasted from mid-August to end-September last year, its sales were buffered by its supplies of frozen chicken and meat products.

Mr Chew said, "Having experienced the bird flu situation first hand, I suppose we are better prepared today than before. But having said that, to handle this bird flu, our contingency planning (began) about three years ago when we built our cold room to go into the frozen food business."

Currently, frozen food products accounts for 10 to 15 percent of Elite's business, but the company hopes to grow this to 30 percent.

Source: eFeedLink - 9th February 2005

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