Chiquita Brands International said today (9 December) that it successfully raised local banana price increases across all the markets it operates in during October and November in order to offset higher industry costs.

The US banana and packaged salad group said prices were up because of generally flat volumes.

In North America prices rose 35% while volume rose 3%. In Asia Pacific and the Middle East, prices rose 24% and volumes were up 23%.

In trading markets pricing rose 19% and volume rose 3%.

In the European market, price hikes were depressed by the impact of a 2007 hurricane temporarily elevating year-ago prices, the company said. European pricing fell 6% in terms of US dollars, but increased 1% on a local-currency basis. European volumes were down 4%, the company revealed.

Revenue from Chiquita's Fresh Express salads rose 8% year-on-year during the two month period, as volume fell 1%.

"We continue our pricing discipline to help offset higher industry costs," said Fernando Aguirre, chairman and chief executive officer.

"Banana volume remains about flat, and we expect that the relatively tight industry-wide supply conditions that we have seen throughout 2008 will continue, especially in light of recent industry-wide flooding which affected parts of Costa Rica and Panama."