Mexican agriculture authorities have said that a five-year ban on Mexican wheat exports to Europe has ended.

The 1997 ban was originally imposed due to concerns that the karnal bunt fungus was present in some Mexican wheat. The wheat disease causes a foul odour and discolouring of contaminated wheat but is not dangerous to humans or livestock.

The ban was lifted after Italian pasta producers made a tour of inspection of the Mexicali Valley in Baja California.

Wheat buyers, including pasta makers, have committed to import US$10m worth of wheat at the next harvest, reported Reuters.