Commodities: Booming Brimstone

Brimstone has been a hot commodity ever since it was used to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Today the ocher-colored mineral is in greater demand than ever. This year's free-world production of sulfur, as the stuff is commonly known, will amount to 15.6 million tons, a critical 300,000 tons short of needs. In the U.S., which accounts for more than 50% of the output, once vast stocks have shrunk to a 35-year low, leaving the nation with a bare 15-week supply.

The shortage has been reflected in higher prices, which have risen nearly 33% since...

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