Bananas are the big story in this week's survey, with prices having shot up 44.1% since the previous basket five weeks ago - to the same price they were last April. The leap from 59p/kg to 85p/kg on 6 September was initiated by Asda, which was also the first to slash prices last spring, and once again the other major retailers have followed suit. Asda maintained it restored the original 85p price at a planned 12-week review of its rollback on bananas because of the challenging market conditions faced by growers. "Market pressures in the form of recent hurricanes in the West Indies and a bit of tightening of supply at the end of the rollback period led to the price returning to its pre-rollback level," said a spokesman for Asda. "There has been a steady increase in the cost of a case of bananas from £8.17 in 2005 to £9.47 in 2006 and £9.56 in 2007, which means an average cost increase of 17% since 2005, and our pricing has to reflect that." Asda said it had absorbed the cost of the rollback and continued to pay growers the same price as before. The price of The Grocer basket of fresh produce continues to rise, up 15p over the past five weeks. It is now 11% more expensive than at this time last year and 9.5% higher than two years ago. This is the second consecutive rise, and there have been only two higher total figures in the past 15 months. Cherry tomatoes are 22.8% cheaper than last year, and pears are 9.2% cheaper, though white seedless grapes are 50.5% more and mushrooms 12.9% higher.