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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - January 15, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta Wtdntidiy, 15, 1875 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD 43 LONDON (Reuter) The success of the oil exporting countries in gaining a five fold increase in prices has been a spectacular demonstration of producer power. The 13 countries of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) presented a united front and got what they wanted. Now other producers of vital raw materials have an example to follow. The producers' club is by no means a new idea to devel- oping countries, many of whose economies depend on exporting commodities like sugar, coffee, cocoa, copper, tin and iron ore. ation of producer power Oil exporting countries five-fold prices gain sets example er) The But production gluts, Demand for it is so intense the mark for the first poorer states. tries, so the CIPEC move fail- February, I exporting market resistance, uncertain that even during the current time. Since the climb in oil prices ed to achieve the desired The Caribbean and Latin- for many ng a five demand and, above all, slowdown in economic activi- Speculative pressure played started, there has been much effect. American sugar countries non-ferroi But production gluts, market resistance, uncertain demand and, above all, inability to preserve solidari- ty are pitfalls faced by producers in trying to apply group pressure to stabilize markets or increase profits: The strong sense of Arab solidarity created by the Oc- tober, 1973, war helped to stiffen OPEC and all those outside the Arab fired by a determination to put an end to what they regarded as exploitation. Furthermore, oil is the most vital of raw materials, indispensable for the prosperi- ty of industrial nations and without any substitute. Demand for it is so intense that even during the current slowdown in economic activi- ty there is no possibility of a buyer's market eroding the bargaining strength of OPEC, at least for the time being. So the oil producers are in much better position to wield collective power than other commodity suppliers. Yet, even before OPEC started to push up its oil reve- nues in October, 1973, com- modity prices doubled over a 12-month boom which is still having reper- cussions. Renter's index of world commodity prices stood at 550.9 at the end of June, 1972, and one year later it topped the mark for the first time. Speculative pressure played a part in forcing up prices but there was another factor. De- veloping countries blessed with raw material resources have started learning how to obtain a bigger share of the world's riches. President Houari Boume- dienne of Algeria spoke for many of them at the United Nations last April when he advocated nationalization of the developing lands' natural resources, extension to other commodities of the control machinery effectively demonstrated by cancellation of international debts of many of the world's poorer states. Since the climb in oil prices started, there has been much activity in the world of com- modities, with perhaps ominous implications' for the countries importing' them. The Council of the Copper Exporting Countries (CIPEC) met in Paris in November and decided to cut sales by 10 per cent in a bid to force up prices. But although the four mem- Chile, Zaire and 70 per cent of world exports, they lack the bargaining power of OPEC. Big copper reserves have built up and demand has fallen because of the growing reces- sion in many industrial coun- tries, so the CIPEC move fail- ed to achieve the desired effect. Iron ore exporters have also been thinking on OPEC lines. Delegates from the 13 ex- porting states met in Geneva to discuss setting up an ex- porter's association to im- prove prices and trading terms. They got as far as setting up a preparatory com- mittee to discuss the question in depth. In Georgetown, Guyana, the International Bauxite Associ- ation held its first ministerial conference. Guyana Prime Minister Forbes Burnham said the group was formed not to exploit consumers, but to give producer countries a fair share. The Caribbean and Latin- American sugar countries met in Mexico City to discuss formation of a producers' block. In another development that may become a significant precedent, of the oil-rich OPEC countries- has agreed to use some of its oil money to finance coffee stockpiles by Central Ameri- can countries which are try- ing to stop prices dropping. The current decline in world commodity prices can only act as a spur to the com- modity producers. Although the Reuter com- modity index achieved a record high of last February, a decline has set in for many items, among them non-ferrous metals, cocoa, soybeans, rubber and wheat. The index stood at in November, a fall of nine points compared with the level a year earlier. To the commodity produc- ers, these figures demonstrate the need to build bargaining power as the world economy moves into recession. Those who cannot do this are being worst hit by the rise in oil prices and their plight has prompted British Prime Minister Harold Wilson to speak of a new category of countries without the right raw materials. SERVING SOUTHERN ALBERTA 51 YEARS JAN. 16th, 17th, 18th ____ LETHBRIDGE 1221-2nd AVENUE SOUTH 2% QT. JUICE PITCHER YOUR CHOICE TEMPERED NAPPIE BAKEWARE ASSORTMENT Cookie sheet, mix pan, loaf pan, pizza pan and muffin pan. ___________ I CULTIVATOR TRANSPLANTER Set Of 2 STACKING MUGS AIR DEFLECTOR PARING KNIFE PLASTIC FRIDGE SET SYPHON PUMP oz. TUMBLER TEMPERED MUGS Reg. 890 PIE PLATE 5V GRUEN WATCHES 1975ROTO-TILLERS! SPARK PLUG TUNE UP S.H.P. CHAIN DRIVE TILLER STEEL SALAD SET 99' SNOWMOBILE TOOL SET Reg. 19.95 CVTDA ODCPIAI tAl HA ortulAL IRONING BOARD, PAD AND COVER ;