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Soviet Union Reported Making Huge Profits on Israel Oranges

Oranges from Israel are a “brisk selling Item” in the Soviet Union and currently sell at four and a half or five rubles each (nominally between $1.12 and $1.15), the New York Times reported today from Moscow.

Commenting on the report, the newspaper said that the Soviet Government is “apparently going to make a gross profit of more than 400,000,000 rubles on an investment of $2,5000,000 in Israeli oranges bought last November. The Times says that the oranges which were purchased from Israel at about two and a half cents each will net the USSR over $100,000,000 at the official ruble-dollar exchange rate.

The Times estimated that the Soviet Government would receive 475,000,000 rubles for the Israeli oranges which cost it only 10,000,000 rubles at the official exchange rate. The newspaper also said that the official valuation of one ruble for 25 cents in United States currency “grossly exaggerates the actual purchasing power” of the ruble as against the purchasing power of U.S. and western currencies.

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