Posturing by some retailers over paying farmers more for meat has not prevented them from cutting the shelf price of a raft of household staples.

Our regular basket of meat products has fallen in cost by £1.57 since the previous survey in mid-July, equivalent to a reduction overall of more than 3%. The basket is cheaper now than it has been since June 2006, despite production costs in the supply chain rising over the same period.

Rump steak lost £0.24 per kg in the latest survey, as a result of heavy discounting at Asda. The National Beef Association accused the retailer of profiteering from the foot and mouth outbreak.

"Asda has taken the opposing price route to Morrisons and Tesco and seems to have been unable to resist introducing a heavy discount at a time when both farmers and government were looking for price support and stability," said NBA director Kim Haywood.

Two-packs of salmon steaks registered the biggest price fall, thanks to a £2.50-off promotion by Morrisons, and the average price of unsmoked back bacon dropped £0.13 as Sainsbury's climbed on to the £1.25 per pack bandwagon started by Asda in June. It came amid warnings from British farmers that pig production costs across Europe were rising. Large chickens were £0.07 cheaper at £1.86 per kg.

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