RUBBER: Inching Along to Freedom

Rubber Reserve Co., whose efforts to create a rubber stock pile had gathered only 218,000 long tons (less than six months' normal consumption) by the end of July, inched a little closer to its goal last week. At its behest the British-Dutch rubber cartel upped production quotas to 120% of theoretical capacity, or to 1,866,000 tons a year.

The cartel (which controls 97% of the world's crude rubber production) has yet to produce up to the previous quota of 100%. Moreover, rubber trees take seven years to mature; so output cannot be increased overnight. But there are some idle trees to...

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