COMMODITIES: Too Much Wool

When Australia's wool auctions opened last week, world wool producers got a nice lift. Brisk bidding sent quotations as much as 5% higher than the closing prices last June, and about 25% above their early 1952 lows. But Australia's lively market Was not much consolation for U.S. wool growers, who are in what the Agriculture Department calls "a very depressed condition." Annual wool consumption within the U.S. has fallen from the postwar peak of 738 million lbs. in 1946 to 472 million lbs., and price supports on wool have cost U.S. taxpayers $92.2 million in the last decade, the...

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