At least two major tomato packers are believed to have withdrawn their offers, blaming "hot weather and water shortage". The Mediterranean has been basking in a heat wave ­ near the top end of what tomato plants in the fields can take. Growers appear to be digging in over prices, especially when dealing with smaller packers. This has been felt further up the chain, particularly where contract packers have been involved. But a hot dry spell would bring on the later plantings, funnelling a tide of ripe tomatoes into a shorter pack. Although raw material prices have been held back for the last two years, there are signs of an upswing. {{PROVISIONS }}