MILAN (Reuters) - World food prices eased in April after three months of gains, driven down by falls in grains and sugar, and can remain under a downward pressure in the coming months, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said on Thursday.
The FAO Food Price Index, which measures monthly price changes for a food basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat and sugar, averaged 214 points in April, down from a revised 217 points in March, the FAO said in its monthly index update.
The index was driven down by a 2.5 percent month on month fall in maize prices, a 1 percent fall in wheat and a 5 percent drop in sugar prices which have offset a 2.2 percent rise in vegetable oils fuelled by soaring soybean prices.
"You would see prices most likely remaining under downward pressure in the next couple of months," FAO's senior economist and grain analyst Abdolreza Abbassian told Reuters adding that weather remains a critical factor.
Soybean prices which have been rising since the start of this year are likely to see further gains due to tight supplies, driving corn prices higher, Abbassian said.
(Reporting by Svetlana Kovalyova; editing by Keiron Henderson)