Canned tomato prices appear to be on the up as this season's round of contracts draws to a close.
It appears that most of the major retail groups have placed the new season contracts for own label and brand.
Although insiders are remaining tight-lipped, the fact that retail prices have already been increased seems to confirm levels well up on last year.
Tertiary or economy labelled plum peeled have risen from 11p to 15p, and premium brands are showing a 7% increase.
If the rumour that ex-factory prices have gone up by 30% is correct, these increases will not be the last. The leading canners seem to be around the same level, which indicates a concerted effort by them to hold the line rather than increase the retail price which, at a time of zero inflation, might have been seen as unacceptable.
The balance was tipped in favour of the canners by virtue of a major reduction in the pack this year. Quality is also reputed to be good in spite of the recent adverse weather conditions.