Tomato field prices nearly double last year's The retail price of canned tomatoes could be set to rise in the wake of higher grower prices and canning costs. All offers on Italian tomatoes have been withdrawn following the announcement that processors had been forced to agree with growers season field prices nearly double those of last year. "We expected an increase but when we heard the northern processors had agreed €80 a tonne, compared with the 2007 price of €49, and that Naples packers were expected to pay €95, it was hard to believe," said a leading UK importer. Importers are warning of an increase of at least £1.30 per case on 24 x 400g over last year's levels. The strength of the euro and falling value of the pound are also contributing to the problem. Canners round the world are also facing price increases from can makers. Japanese and Korean steelmakers have just agreed a 70% price increase with their suppliers, leading the way for European can makers to follow suit. "It's a never-ending spiral that has forced retail prices higher, with much more to come," said one can maker.