Commodities: Tension in Tin

To most people, tin is usually something about to be thrown away; but to the men who know it best, tin is romantic, capricious, volatile—and a very profitable commodity. During the Korean war, speculators from London to Singapore made a killing when tin prices soared to $2 a lb.; then short sellers grew rich as Russian dumping knocked the price down to 75¢. Gradually the world price inched back to $1.20, which is just about what it costs the industry's many marginal operators to produce tin. But recently the price sank to a low of $1.03, and for this...

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