MOSCOW, RUSSIA — Russia introduced a temporary ban on durum wheat exports until May 31, 2024, with the publication of a government decree on Dec. 11 in an effort to ensure the country’s food security and stabilize prices, Reuters reported.

Russia is the world’s largest wheat exporter, but its durum production and supplies are small. Russia’s agriculture ministry proposed the measure in early November.

Russia boosted durum wheat exports between July 1 and Nov. 10 to 657,000 tonnes from 52,000 tonnes in the same period of 2022, according to Russian news agency Interfax. The wheat was shipped to Italy, Turkey and Tunisia.

The decree includes exemptions such as shipments for global humanitarian aid or under worldwide inter-governmental agreements. Exports to South Ossetia and Abkhaiza in the South Caucasus region, as well as grain shipped as supplies are also permitted.

Nations within the Eurasian Economic Union — which include Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Armenia — also will be allowed to receive durum wheat exports, if they have permits from the Agriculture Ministry.