Imagine there was a giant, lucrative pile of metal sitting somewhere, worth several billion US dollars. Enough to satisfy entire countries for a full year. You'd probably want it to get used, no?
Well, that's the situation in Vietnam, where a giant, kilometre-long pile of seized aluminium, worth US$5 billion, is just... sitting. It's been there since 2019, when it was taken as part of an anti-dumping investigation, and due to the resource crunch in recent years, it's now worth 50% more than it was when this whole thing started.
In the same way wheat can be seen as "virtual water", aluminium is often known as "virtual energy", since its production is so incredibly energy-intensive that shipping it around can save a country a significant portion of its energy usage. That means this isn't even just about the metal, as the European energy crisis keeps on going, impacting production there. Hopefully it actually gets used at some point soon rather than just sitting around.
If you have been around the infrastructure corners of the internet for even a modicum of time, chances are you've heard rumours about the Canadian National Maple Syrup Reserve, spoken about only in whispers, like it's a joke that somehow permeated the public conciousness.
Well, it's real, and for the first time in a while, they're actually going to use it - half of it, in fact. Supply was down due to a warm spring, and demand worldwide is up, and as any economics student will tell you, that means prices are soaring. In order to keep them reasonable, the Reserve has been deployed to even things out a little.
And, in order to make sure they don't run into this again next year, they're ramping up how many maple trees they're tapping - to have enough to meet demand and to refill the reserve, before it's sealed away behind a big maple-leaf vault door, presumably.