The U.S. consumer price index (CPI) for fresh fruit rose 1 percent this October from September, to 317.8 (1982-84=100). Relative to the October 2009 CPI, however, the October 2010 CPI declined 2 percent due to decreases in retail prices for Thompson seedless grapes, bananas, strawberries, and grapefruit. These price declines were not offset by retail price increases for Red Delicious apples, oranges, and lemons.

Consumers paid higher prices at retail in October over the same time last year for navel oranges and lemons. Fresh lemon retail prices increased from $1.63 in October 2009 to $1.76 in October 2010, almost an 8 percent increase.

Navel orange retail prices are slightly up due to weather-caused harvest delays that had tightened supplies even more at the end of the season, pushing prices up 2 percent from last October when prices were elevated for the same reason.

Red Delicious apples maintained higher retail prices due to low ending stocks, finishing at $1.18 per pound. Increased imports are driving down banana retail prices.