Countries are banning food exports amid rising prices and inflation

India has banned wheat exports this year due to rising grain prices due to the Russia-Ukraine war.

T. Narayan | Bloomberg | Getty Images

India has banned wheat exports this year due to rising grain prices due to the Russia-Ukraine war, becoming the last country to do so.

Russia and Ukraine are among the largest exporters of the commodity, which has seen a sharp rise in wheat prices due to the war. According to the World Bank, both countries account for 29% of global wheat exports.

Wheat prices rose nearly 6% on Monday after India’s weekend announcement.

“Russia’s invasion came at a critical time for the global food market, as food prices were already high due to the disruption of the supply chain and drought-related yields last year,” said Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE), a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. Tank, in an April note.

According to PIIE, Russia and Ukraine are among the top five world exporters of barley, sunflower and sunflower oil, as well as many important cereals and oilseeds, such as corn.

India is not alone. In addition to Russia and Ukraine, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Kosovo and Serbia have also banned wheat exports.

Fear of inflation and food security

And it’s not just wheat. Many countries have also imposed sanctions on other food exports as the Ukraine crisis has pushed up global inflation.

Prices of various other food products have risen, contributing to rising global inflation. Some of these products include sunflower oil, palm oil, fertilizers and grains.

In addition to rising food prices, the supply of many food items is also uncertain.

As the war continues, food shortages, especially grain and vegetable oil shortages, are likely to intensify …

Peterson Institute for International Economics

Ukraine has been unable to export grain, fertilizer and vegetable oil, while the conflict has destroyed crop fields and disrupted a normal planting season. The government has also accused Russia of stealing and reselling hundreds of thousands of metric tons of grain. Russia’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment by CNBC.

PIIE analysts Joseph Glaber, David LeBorde and Abdullah Mamun wrote, “If the war continues, food shortages, especially grain and vegetable oil shortages, are likely to escalate, leading to more countries restricting trade.”

According to the Financial Times, over the weekend, a group of 7 industrialized nations issued a warning about the risk of a global hunger crisis unless Russia lifts the blockade on Ukrainian crops currently stuck in Ukrainian ports, according to the Financial Times.

Countries that are banning food exports

According to a live tracker created by PIIE, here is a list of countries that have banned food exports in the months since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war.

List of countries that have food export bans

Country Types of food products Forbid deadline
Argentina Soybean oil, soybean meal, December 31, 2023
Algeria Pasta, wheat derivatives, vegetable oil, sugar December 31, 2022
Egypt Vegetable oil, corn June 12, 2022
Wheat, flour, oil, lentils, pasta, beans June 10, 2022
India Wheat December 31, 2022
Indonesia Palm oil, palm kernel oil December 31, 2022
Iran Potatoes, eggplants, tomatoes, onions December 31, 2022
Kazakhstan Wheat, wheat flour June 15, 2022
Kosovo Wheat, corn, flour, vegetable oil, salt, sugar, December 31, 2022
Turkey Beef, mutton, goat meat, butter, cooking oil December 31, 2022
Ukraine Wheat, oats, buckwheat, sugar December 31, 2022
Russia Sugar, sunflower seeds August 31, 2022
Wheat, mycelium, rye, barley, corn June 30, 2022
Serbia Wheat, corn, flour, oil December 31, 2022
Tunisia Fruits, vegetables December 31, 2022

Source: Peterson Institute for International Economics

India has said it is banning wheat exports “to manage the country’s overall food security”, according to local media reports.

Other countries that have recently imposed food export bans include Indonesia, which restricts palm oil exports, a key ingredient used in many food as well as non-food products.

Like India, Indonesia has noted the need to ensure food availability internally, as global food inflation has risen to record highs since the war. Indonesia is more than half the world Supply of palm oil.

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