Lebanon bans export of some locally-produced foods
Lebanon's trade ministry has banned the export of some locally-produced foods, the state news agency reported on Friday.
The Lebanese Minister of Industry George Bushkian issued a decree "banning the export of food produced in Lebanon [...] until further notice", local media reported.
The export ban includes over 20 food items, such as processed fruits and vegetables, milled grain products, sugar, bread, and some types of alcohol.
The ban also covers meat, dairy products, coffee beans and animal feed.
The step came as other countries took steps to safeguard their food reserves amid a rising food crisis resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine last month, which has aggravated a global surge in prices of key commodities, including food and oil.
This week, Egypt banned the export of wheat, flour, lentils, and pasta.
Ukraine also announced the banning of its agricultural exports, including barley, sugar, and meat, leaving many countries, like Lebanon, to face a shortage of wheat reserves.
Minister of Economy Amin Salim has warned that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is likely to cause long-term disruption to food supply chains.
According to Salim, "between 50% and 60% of [Lebanon's] wheat imports come from either Ukraine or Russia," - amounting to between 40 and 50 thousand tons per year, distributed between 12 mills across Lebanon.
Lebanon, which has been struggling to keep providing wheat to its population since the Beirut port blast, has been attempting to secure deal supplies from India and Turkey, among other states.