Supermarkets are gradually increasing the price of bananas in the run up to Christmas as the record autumn cuts come to an end.

Bananas are currently selling for 77p/kg in the big four, double the 38p/kg price seen in Asda last month but still below August's 84p/kg.

Industry sources claim supermarkets raise prices over Christmas so they can announce discounts in January when shoppers are hard up. Last December, prices hit 99p/kg in leading retailers before they were cut to an average of 78p/kg in late January [GPI].

"The price has no relevance to cost, it's purely a marketing price," said one importer. "

Suppliers wanted the per kg price to go over a pound, the importer ­added.

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