Could Italy turn into a sellers' market? Price increases on value brands of tomatoes have been implemented by most retailers following the dramatic rise of the Naples market. More evidence from government and trade sources in Italy show the seriousness of the problems caused by last season's raw material shortfall. UK importers have worked hard to ensure continuity of supply to own label retail buyers. The likelihood of packers being prepared to enter into pre-season contracts this year seems remote, but with the demand for canned tomatoes, particularly chopped, increasing year-on-year, UK traders will no doubt be competing for the major contracts which are substantial. Consolidation in the Italian tomato industry means UK buyers have very restricted choice of suppliers with the ability to meet the high standards required, even for value labels. Could the Italian tomato industry be the first to become a sellers' market rather than a buyers'? A point on which no UK importer was prepared to speculate. {{CANNED GOODS }}