• India is immediately curbing wheat exports to protect its food security.
  • The country will still export to countries in need at their request, officials said on Friday.
  • Russia's invasion of Ukraine has caused inflation and prices of food items to soar.

India is the latest country to implement export bans on certain foods as a result of the war in Ukraine and high inflation.

Bloomberg first reported the news

India's Directorate General of Foreign Trade said in a notice on Friday that it would stop new shipments of wheat immediately but still allow exports to countries in need to help maintain their food security.

India's move to stop its wheat exports comes after several countries limited or banned the export of food staples in the last year. Rising costs of products like fuel have had a knock-on effect on fertilizer, as well as agriculture production, leading to higher food prices.

Russia imposed export caps and fresh taxes on wheat in 2021 to help tackle its domestic food inflation. Following its invasion of Ukraine, it brought in a temporary ban on exporting wheat to former Soviet countries.

Kazakhstan also capped its wheat and wheat flour exports after prices rose by more than 30% since the beginning of the Ukraine war. 

Ukraine, which accounts for between 12% and 17% of the world's supply of wheat and corn, stopped exporting key food items, including wheat and oats, to protect its food security during the war. Argentina, meanwhile, brought in restrictions on beef.

Other countries with export bans in place include Indonesia, the world's largest palm-oil exporter, which banned the shipping of palm oil products to other countries. This led supermarkets across the world to restrict the amount of cooking oil shoppers can buy.

The cost of food commodities has risen the most since 2008, the World Bank said, as the Ukraine war led commodity prices to soar and the World Bank expects the impact on food prices to last until 2024.

This has meant higher prices of food products at grocery stores on items like cooking oils, fresh, and processed fruit and vegetables, as well as cereals and bakery products. 

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