Serbia has introduced a “temporary” ban on the export of certain food commodities, becoming the latest country to introduce curbs after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sparked spikes in prices.

Belgrade has decided to halt the export of what it calls “basic agricultural food products important to the population” – wheat grain, wheat flour, corn, groats and sunflower oil.

The Serbian government said it had made the move “to respond in a timely manner to market disturbances and growing demand, both worldwide and domestic”.

The war in Ukraine, which has been known as the breadbasket of Europe, has pushed up the prices of a series of commodities.

According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, either Russia or Ukraine (or both) ranked among the top three global exporters of wheat, maize, rapeseed, sunflower seeds and sunflower oil in 2021. Russia is also the world’s top exporter of nitrogen fertilizers and the second-leading supplier of potassic and phosphorous fertilizers, FAO data shows.

Earlier this week, Ukraine decided to suspend the exports of certain agricultural commodities and introduce licences on the shipments of others out of the war-hit country.

Hungary has announced new controls on its exports of a range of commodities, including wheat, maize and soybeans.

In Asia, Indonesia announced plans to put restrictions on the trading of palm oil grown in the country. Exporters will have to keep back 30% of their volume for the Indonesian market, up from the current quota of 20%.

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