Discussions of international commodity organizations often compare the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the Intergovernmental Council of Copper Exporting Countries (CIPEC), yet few researchers have examined CIPEC. A comparison of environmental characteristics of copper and petroleum suggests that although copper producers' collusion is possible, it is problematical and depends on political as well as economic factors. Since its formation in 1967, CIPEC members have been engaged in a gradual process of institution-building, although a lack of institutional leadership has hampered collective policy making. Substantively, CIPEC has dealt primarily with three issues: nationalization, technical pricing arrangements, and market regulatory policies. Until 1974, CIPEC members proved incapable of adopting a regulatory policy; they fostered the illusion of impending action and cooperation. Faced with deteriorating market conditions and stimulated by OPEC's success, CIPEC members have initiated a joint policy. The future of CIPEC will depend on its institutional flexibility as well as on decisions of nonmember producers and developed consumer countries.