CAIRO, EGYPT — Egypt has suspended the export of wheat, flour and pasta for three months, starting March 11, Masrawy news portal reported, as it experiences a dramatic increase in the price of unsubsidized bread and other staples.

Egypt is the world’s top wheat importer, and from 2020 to 2021, most of that, about 12.5 million tonnes, came from Russia and Ukraine.

The recent increase in the inflation rate from 4.9% a year ago to 10% in February largely was attributed to a surge in prices of food, especially vegetables, bread and grain.

The price for a pack of five flatbread loaves is now about 7.5 Egyptian pounds (48 cents), up from 5 Egyptian pounds a week ago. Subsidized bread is about 5 Egyptian pounds, but the government has said a price increase likely will happen.

Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said the country has enough wheat reserves for four months. The wheat harvest season will begin in mid-April so the country will have no need to resort to the global market until the end of the year, he said.