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The top quality Thai hom mali rice now costs US$1,000 a tonne - up more than three-fold from the start of the year. A more inferior quality of 25 percent cracked rice, which the WFP buys for its programme, is now just less than US$800 - nearly three times more than four months ago. Many traditional exporting nations, including Cambodia, Egypt, India and Pakistan, have banned exports of rice, while China and Vietnam have cut back dramatically.
"Malnutrition is almost certainly going to rise significantly in many of the poorest parts of Asia," Action Aid's international director, John Samuel, told IRIN.