ROME, April 11 (Reuters) - The United Nations' food agency is optimistic that cereal output will recover in 2013, which may lead to price declines, a senior economist at the agency said on Thursday.
"We are optimistic for the coming crop. The previous year was particularly bad so barring something dramatic the direction should be upwards for production," said Concepcion Calpe, senior economist at the Food and Agriculture Organisation.
"If this is what happens we could see prices trending downwards," she said.
FAO said on Thursday its food price index rose 1 percent in March, driven by a surge in dairy prices, while cereals prices held steady. (Reporting By Catherine Hornby)