The price of meat and fish is at an almost two-year high. Our basket of meat and fish rose for the second consecutive survey to just two pence below its highest level since the feature began in January 2005 - 0.6% more expensive than in the previous survey six weeks ago, and 10.9% more expensive than at this time last year.

Four of the five price changes were rises, the greatest being for own label thick pork sausages, which recorded a 10.2% increase. This is the first time the price of sausages has changed since the survey began 22 months ago. An increase in producer costs is believed to be behind the rise, which has finally forced a price increase in a normally stable category within the pork market.

MLC research and category development manager Richard Cullen said: "Production costs have gone up with fuel costs, though if this is the reason, it does seem to have taken a while to filter through."

The price of both beef steak and mince rose. Due to a shortage of beef in the EU, steak was up 2.9% to its highest price since the July basket, making it 14.9% more expensive than at this time last year.

The price of whole, large chickens rose for the fourth consecutive survey, to exactly the same price as at this time last year. Chicken breast fillets fell in price fractionally, but are still 1.7% more expensive than they were at this time last year.

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