ROME, June 13 (Reuters) - World cereal production is expected to rise 6.5 percent in 2013/14 to reach a record 2.46 billion tonnes, mainly due to higher wheat output and a rebound in maize production in the United States, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday.
A likely replenishment in world cereal stocks could lead to easing prices in the new season, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in its biannual Food Outlook report.
Worldwide cereal use is expected to rise 3 percent to 2.402 billion tonnes in 2013/14, FAO said. Much of the growth will come from higher use of maize for feed and industrial purposes in the United States, it added.
World cereal inventories at the end of the season in 2014 are set to rise by about 11 percent to 569 million tonnes, their highest level in 12 years, the Rome-based agency said.
FAO expects wheat production to rise to 702 million tonnes in 2013/14. Coarse grains output is seen rising to 1.26 billion tonnes and rice production is seen edging up to 489.9 million tonnes.
FAO's food price index eased slightly in May, data showed last week, but it is still close to the level seen during the food crisis in 2008, which led to riots in some poor countries. (Reporting By Catherine Hornby, editing by Jeff Coelho)