The world’s largest sugar producer and second exporter after Brazil will cap sugar exports at 10 million tonnes for the marketing year which runs from October to September, according to a statement from the Ministry of Food on Tuesday evening.

This decision, which will come into effect on June 1, was taken “with a view to maintaining domestic availability and price stability during the sugar season”, he said.

Sugar exports are expected to hit a record high this marketing year, with contracts signed for around nine million tonnes, of which 7.8 million tonnes have already been shipped, he added.

In mid-May, citing inflation and its food security, India had already banned wheat exports without prior government approval. The sudden export ban on the grain has also tied up hundreds of thousands of tonnes of wheat at a major port in western India.

March was the hottest month on record in the country where crops suffered from drought and yields were affected.

Although India is only a marginal player in the world wheat market, its decision has caused a new surge in agricultural commodity prices on world markets, already very high, since the Russian invasion in February of the Ukraine, an agricultural powerhouse that accounted for 12% of world wheat exports.

Indian officials, however, stressed that government-to-government wheat requests from countries struggling with record price spikes would be allowed.

This decision has also fueled fears of growing protectionism in the current context.

Elsewhere in Asia, Indonesia has temporarily halted palm oil exports and Malaysia has banned chicken exports.