Wal-Mart to sell products in Japan

WAL-MART Stores Inc. will sell its products in the Far East through Japan's Ito-Yokado Company supermarkets and Yaohan International Company's department stores, spokesmen for the Japanese firms said Wednesday.

Wal-Mart, the largest US retailer, will offer its low-priced products to Ito-Yokado for sale in Japan in return for the supermarket operator's management know-how, an Ito-Yokado spokesman said. Wal-Mart also will allow Hong Kong-based Yaohan to sell its goods wholesale in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Saudis are key to reviving oil price

OPEC ministers waited yesterday for word from Saudi Arabia on whether it was ready to cut output and help reverse 1993's slide of 20 percent in the world oil prices.

The secretary-general of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Subroto of Indonesia, says that the 12 nations ``will be studying all options.''

But delegates to ministerial talks that formally open today said the Saudis, the biggest exporters, may prefer to defend market share rather than accept a lower production quota.

Industry analysts say prices might drop by another $1 per barrel or more if OPEC fails to cut output. Benchmark North Sea oil was trading yesterday between $13 and $14 per barrel, scarcely better when allowance is made for inflation than before the 1973 Arab oil embargo.

The 1993 price fall resulted from excess OPEC supply together with global recession and a jump in North Sea oil production. OPEC's current ceiling on its crude oil output is 24.52 million barrels daily, of which the Saudi quota is 8.0 million.

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