METALS: Cut to Compete

For the first time in 17 years, the basic price of aluminum is on the way down. Without warning last week. Aluminium Ltd., Canada's giant producer, announced that it would cut prices 2¢ per Ib. to 24¢, thus undercutting all free-world competition. No one was more surprised than the three dominant U.S. producers—Alcoa, Kaiser and Reynolds—who expected to maintain the price of primary aluminum at 26¢ per Ib., perhaps even raise it because of an impending wage hike. Yet within 24 hours, the top brass of each company hastily gathered, and one by one cut their price to 24¢...

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