The price of our basket of fruit and veg rose for the first time since October 2005, suggesting early signs of a firming of the fresh produce market, though seasonal changes in sourcing did account for some of the increases.

The basket was 26% more expensive than in the last survey on March 27, but is 3.8% down on the same time last year. White seedless grapes accounted for the biggest rise, 101.5% in the ten weeks since the last survey. However a similar rise occurred at the same time last year as sources switched from Chile and South Africa to Mexico, Egypt and India.

Pears are at their highest level since the survey began in January 2005 and have risen for four surveys in a row since last November to a price 27.9% higher than at this time last year due to stormy weather and smaller crops.

Apples showed their first price rise since February 2005, and strawberries recovered 24% in price since the last survey as the UK took over from Spain.

Green beans provided the only price fall, and pack size was largely responsible. Asda introduced a 350g saver bag in place of the market standard 250g pack, which led to a cheaper price when calculated in terms of the net cost per 250g.