Stocks of wheat and rice with government agencies have dropped to a five-year low, even as retail inflation climbed to a five-month high of 7.41% in September,The Indian Express reported on Friday, citing data from the Centre.

Wheat and rice stocks in government-owned godowns stood at 511.36 lakh tonnes on October 1, data from the Food Corporation of India showed. This is the lowest since the same month in 2017 when it was 433.36 lakh tonnes, according to The Indian Express.

A year ago, the figure stood at 816 lakh tonnes.

As far as only wheat stocks are concerned, they were at a six-year-low of 227.46 lakh tonnes on October 1. The stocks are just over the minimum buffer level of 205.2 lakh tonnes.

The minimum buffer is a three-month operational stock requirement which has to be maintained in addition the strategic reserve of grains for domestic purposes and exports.

However, with rick stocks at 283.9 lakh tonnes being 2.8 times the minimum buffer of 102.5 lakh tonnes, the overall cereal stock with government agencies are at a relatively comfortable level, according to The Indian Express.

The development came even as the retail inflation for cereals rose 11.53% in September, the highest-ever in the category. India has banned the export of several foodgrains this year in order to control prices in the domestic market.

In May, India had banned the export of wheat 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.

In August, New Delhi had restricted the export of wheat flour, maida, semolina and wholemeal aata to control rising prices.

In September, India had banned the export of broken rice and also imposed 20% export duty on various grades of rice to boost domestic supplies.