Courtesy Reuters

IN recent decades there has been growing concern about the sharp fluctuations of primary product prices, the effects of those fluctuations on particular groups of producers and particular countries, and the measures which might be taken to reduce or offset the fluctuations. The main facts are clear enough and have been set out in the growing literature on the subject, including reports by the United Nations and other international bodies. The prices of agricultural products such as sugar and wheat, of raw materials like rubber, and of metals, have at times doubled within less than 12 months, or fallen in the

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