Global wheat prices have risen on fears of supply since Russia’s attack on Ukraine’s agricultural power house in February, which previously accounted for 12 percent of world exports.
Rising spikes due to fertilizer deficiencies and poor harvests have accelerated global inflation and created fears of famine and social unrest in poor countries.
India, the world’s second-largest wheat producer, said on Saturday it was banning exports after the hottest March on record.
New Delhi says factors including low production and sharply high global prices mean it is concerned about the food security of its own 1.4 billion people.
The export agreement was agreed before the directive issued on May 13 but may still be honored but requires government approval for future shipments, it said.
However, exports could also happen if New Delhi approves other governments’ requests to “meet their food security needs”.
India, which has major buffer stocks, has previously said it was ready to help cover some of the supply shortages caused by the Ukraine war.
The export embargo has drawn sharp criticism from a group of seven industrialized nations, who say such measures would “exacerbate the crisis” of rising commodity prices.