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MUMBAI: The United Nations food agency’s rice price index rose 2.8% in July from a month ago to their highest level in nearly 12 years as prices in key exporting countries jumped on strong demand and India’s move to curb the exports, the agency said on Friday.

The Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) All Rice Price Index, which tracks prices in key exporting countries, averaged 129.7 points in July against 126.2 points for the previous month, the agency said.

The July score was almost 20% higher than the last year’s 108.4 points and the highest since September 2011, it said.

Global rice prices set to rally further

The agency’s overall world food price index also rose in July, rebounding from two-year lows.

India, which accounts for 40% of world rice exports, last month ordered a halt to its largest rice export category to calm domestic prices, which climbed to multi-year highs in recent weeks as erratic weather threatens production.

India, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Pakistan are among leading exporters of rice. China, Philippines, Benin, Senegal, Nigeria and Malaysia are key importers of the staple.

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