CAIRO, EGYPT – With wheat prices starting to decline from near record highs, Egypt booked its largest wheat tender in more than a decade to increase stockpiles that have been impacted by the war between its two biggest suppliers – Russia and Ukraine, according to a June 30 Bloomberg report.

Egypt’s General Authority for Supply Commodities recently purchased 815,000 tonnes of wheat, according to Bloomberg, with France being the largest supplier of the tender.

The Bloomberg report noted that the tender was not only unusual in its size but also the length in which it is contracted to be delivered – over three months as opposed to several weeks.

Egypt, which is perennially the world’s largest wheat importer, provides subsidized bread to more than 70 million of Egypt's estimated 103 million people. It has set an ambitious target to buy 6 million tonnes of domestic wheat this year, a more than 60% increase over the previous two years.

As it seeks to shore up wheat reserves, the government is also looking to farmers to increase their output and amount they contribute to the country’s stockpile. In May, the government ordered farmers to supply at least 60% of their crop to the state, up from the 40% it bought last year. It is imposing fines and even jail on those who don't comply.

The rules are meant to prevent farmers from holding back more of their crop for animal feed, and traders from selling the wheat on the open market.