The Union government on Saturday banned the export of wheat flour, maida, semolina and wholemeal aata to control rising prices.

In May, India had banned the export of wheat itself after a spate of severe heatwaves since March curtailed output and domestic prices rose to a record high. The ban led to an increased demand for wheat flour, with its exports rising 200% between April and July from a year ago, the government had said on Thursday.

In a notification on Saturday, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade said that the food security requirements of India, its neighbours and other vulnerable developing countries have been adversely hit by the “sudden changes in the global market” – referring to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

Before the war, Russia and Ukraine accounted for a third of global wheat exports. In April, India had hoped to fill the market gap and said that it was looking to export a record one crore tonnes of wheat in 2022-’23.

The all-India average retail price of wheat has risen by over 22% to Rs 31.04 per kilogram as of August 22, compared to Rs 25.41 per kilogram in the year-ago period, PTI reported, citing data from the consumer affairs ministry.

The average retail price of wheat flour has jumped by over 17% to Rs 35.17 per kg as against Rs 30.04 earlier, the data showed.

Industry body Roller Flour Millers’ Federation has, meanwhile, raised concerns about unavailability of wheat and the rise in prices in the last few days.

On August 21, the government had dismissed reports saying that India was likely to import wheat due to a decline in its reserve stock. On August 8, Reuters reported that India could cut a 40% duty on wheat imports to rein in the rising domestic prices of the crop.