Varon, Bension; Takeuchi, Kenji
April 1974
Foreign Affairs;Apr1974, Vol. 52 Issue 3, p497
This article explores the factors that mitigate the feasibility of proliferating non-fuel mineral producers' alliances modeled on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in developing countries. There are strong factors, which seem to mitigate the feasibility of proliferating producers' alliances modeled on OPEC. Nonetheless, the possibilities for such alliances do exist in a few minerals. Foremost among these is bauxite, where the alliance-inducing factors seem to outweigh the obstacles, as illustrated by the preliminary consultations among Jamaica, Surinam, Guinea and other bauxite-producing countries. Moreover, in one case, Morocco, a major supplier of phosphate rock to the West European market, unilaterally raised its prices by a factor of three last fall; although the full extent of this recent price increase may not be maintained in the long run since there are large unexploited resources of the product, prices are certain to lie on a new plateau hereafter. In a basic situation where developing countries urgently need resources for development, the chances of their resorting to such drastic measures could depend, in the last analysis, on the overall state of relations between rich and poor countries.


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