By mid-summer the retail price of corned beef could be more than £1.50 for the fastest-selling 340g can, according to industry sources. A lack of raw material and an uncompromising line being taken by Brazilian suppliers, who have been cancelling orders because they are not getting high enough prices, have been blamed. "Either we get increased prices or contracts are cancelled," said one exporter. Packers are also cutting the size of orders and demanding prompt shipments, while UK traders are being forced into longer service contracts with retailers and promotional activity is being severely curtailed because of low stock levels. Some production lines are being closed down, and some catering packs are in short supply as producers focus on retail.