Art. II. — Cities and Towns of the United States.
TRADE AND COMMERCE OF NEW ORLEANS IN 1850-51.
IN a former volume of the Merchants' Magazine,
546head, the Cincinnati Price Current's annual report of the trade and Commerce of that city (Cincinnati) in 1850-51; remarking, at the time that it was well known that several Price Currents and mercantile journals in the leading cities of the United States, were in the habit of giving at the close of each commercial or calendar year, an annual report or resume of the Trade and Commerce of the year; and that these reports embraced a comparative view of the progress of trade and Commerce, which imparted to them not only a present but a prospective, and even historical value.
As the reports of the New Orleans Price Current, a model journal of its class, are uniformly made ud with industry and ability, and generally present class, are uniformly made up with industry and ability, and generally present a faithful record or review of the commercial transactions of the year, we do not deem it necessary to make any apology for reproducing, in this place, a report of the Trade and Commerce of New Orleans for the year ending August 31, 1851, as we find it in the columns of that print.
Our usual annual statement of the Commerce of New Orleans will be found to contain a mass of commercial statistics of great value to all producing and trading interests, and also a brief history of the course of the market during a year of extraordinary vicissitudes, at least so far as relates to our most prominent export staples. Before entering, however, upon a review of the operations of the season, we may be permitted to devote a brief space to the consideration of a subject to which we have frequently before alluded in a similar connection; namely, the necessity of railroads for the increase and prosperity of our city. This necessity has now become so manifest that we are happy to see an awakened spirit in our population, which we trust, ere long, will give evidence of practical results. Already have conventions been held, and several important roads projected, with favorable promise of being carried forward, if persevered in. To this end, an address has been issued by a committee of the late convention, showing the vast advantages likely to ensue from a proper system of railroads, and inviting the people of the Southern and Western States to meet here in convention on the first Monday in January, "to deliberate upon and concert such measures as will be likely speedily to influence the construction of a system of railroads, connecting the Gulf States with those of the West and North-west, and radiating throughout all the interior." The advantages of such a system are ably set forth in the address, and we trust it will be productive of the results contemplated. Immediate progress is obstructed by legislative restrictions, but these will doubtless be removed at the coming session of the Legislature. It will be a proud day for New Orleans when, in addition to her thousands of miles of navigable rivers which, unfortunately, have too long been her exclusive dependence, of proper enterprise and energy, aided by enlightened, just, and safe legislation, and we trust its dawning time is not far distant. We have no space to enter into statistical statements on the subject; but would respectfully recommend a general perusal of the address above referred to, as it will be found to contain a mass of information, of a character both interesting and valuable. Other subjects of general interest claim attention, but our space would barely admit an enumeration of them, and we pass on to a review of the season's operations in our leading staples.
The value of products received from the interior since 1st September, 1850, is $106,924,083 against $96,897,873 last year. The value of the exports of domestic products for the year ended 30th June last, according to the Customhouse records, was $81,216,925 against $71,049,556 last year. Of this amount, $53,988,013 was to foreign ports, and $27,228,912 coastwise. The value of foreign merchandise exported during the same period was only $445,950. The operations of the Branch Mint have been greatly extended, the total deposits of
547gold and silver for the year ended on the 31st July, being $9,107,722 against $4,038,341 last year. Of the gold, $8,152,878 was from California. The coinage same time has been, of gold, $8,994,000, and of silver, $1,050,500 — total $10,044,500 —
COTTON. It is well known that in this leading branch of our Commerce, the season opened with high hopes on the part of both producers and dealers. The previous year had closed upon greatly enhanced prices, which has given large shippers, and this success, together with calculations of another short crop stimulated speculation to an imprudent degree, and the result has been a reaction more disastrous than any that has occurred in the cotton trade since 1825. A brief summary of the season's operations will show the course of the market.
The first bale of the new crop (some 250 lbs.) was received here on the 11th August, being four days later than the first receipt of the previous year; and so the crop that, up to the 1st September, only sixty-seven bales had come to market, notwithstanding the prevalence of comparatively high prices, a few bales having been disposed of at 13Åº a 15 cents per lb. During the greater part of September the quotation for a strict class of middling was 13 cents, but toward the close of the month supplies began to arrive pretty freely, and the price fell off to 12Å¾. This slight decline was soon recovered, however, under an active demand, and about the middle of October our quotation for strictly middling was 13â cents, being the highest point of the season. From the middle of to the middle of December, prices were quite steady; the range for middling being 13Åº a 13Ë cents, but at the latter period unfavorable European advices produced a decline of â a Ë cent per pound. This reduction caused resumption of business, and the advices from Europe becoming more favorable the market recovered to 13 â cents by the early part of January. About the middle of the same month, however, under the pressure of heavy receipts and a stringent money market, prices began to give way again, and being assisted in their downward inclination by advices of another of those extraordinary discrepancies in the Liverpool stock, to the extent of 60,000 bales, the figures for middling reached 12 Åº cents by the 1st February. At this point there was a slight recovery, but it was only momentary, as, by the middle of February, the market was called upon to encounter the combined disadvantages of an unusually heavy stock, adverse accounts from abroad, advancing freights, and declining exchanges. Under the pressure of this combination of adverse circumstances, prices rapidly gave way, and by the early part of March our outside quotation for strictly middling was reduced to 10 â cents. Here the market reached a firmer point, the circumstances which produced this last decline having been reversed, and by the latter part of the month prices had recovered to 11 Åº cents for middling. For a month succeeding, the rates fluctuated between 10 â and 11 cents, when early in May the market was again unfavorably affected by the character of the foreign advices, and also by the large increase in the receipts at the ports, as compared with the previous year; and, as nearly every circumstance that has arisen since has been of a nature to increase the depression, there has been a constant yielding of prices, ached 6 Å¾ cents for middling Louisianas and Mississippis, or a decline on this description of nearly 7 cents per pound from the highest point — being more than 50 per cent. In the lower grades, which have formed an unusually large proportion of the receipts of the past season, the reaction has been still more marked there having been sales which would show a difference of 60 to 70 owing to their extraordinary abundance, have been comparatively depressed, and exceedingly difficult of sale, during most of the season. Indeed, it has been the common remark that no crop since that of 1843-44, (known as the "storm year,") has contained so large proportion classing Inferior, and some planters have sent to market "bales of cotton" which proved to be trash or "motes," not worth the levee. It the planting interest reaps any benefit from the swelling of the apparent receipts through the forwarding of such worthless stuff; the past season has probably afforded a good opportunity for its demonstration. The following tables will further illustrate the movements in our great staple: —
|Low middling to good middling||Sterling. p. c. prem.||Freights per lb.|
|September 14, 1850||12Ë a 13Åº||9 a 10||13-32 a 7-16|
|October 2||12Ë a 13 1/8||8Å¾ a 9||13-32 a 7-16|
|November 2||13Åº a 13 5/8||7 a 8||11-32 a 3/8|
|December 4||13 a 13Ë||7Ë a 8Ë||a 13-32|
|January 1, 1851||12 5/8 a 13Åº||7Ë a 8||3/8 a 13-32|
|February 1||12 a 13||7 a 7Å¾||Ë a 9-13|
|March 1||9Ë a 10Å¾||7Ë a 8Åº||Å¾ a 13-16|
|April 2||10 a 11Åº||9Ë a 10Ë||3/8 a|
|May 3||9 1/8 a 10Ë||9Ë a 10Ë||A Ë|
|June 7||8 a 9Ë||9Ë a 11||3/8 a 7-16|
|July 5||7Å¾ a 9Ë||8Ë a 10Åº||5-16 a 3/8|
|August 2||6Ë a 8Åº||8Ë a 10||7-16 a|
|Years||Total crop. Bales.||Receipts at New Orleans. Bales.||Average price per pound. Cents.|
The total receipts at this port since 1st September last, from all sources, are 995,036 bales. This amount includes 44,816 bales from Mobile and Florida, and from Texas by sea; and this being deducted, our receipts proper are shown to be 950,220 bales, in which are included 18,051 bales received direct from Montgomery, &c., Alabama. This, then, would show an increase in our receipts proper, as compared with last year upon the same basis, of 152,833 bales. The total exports sinie 1st September are 997,458 bales, of which 582,373 bales were shipped to Great Britain, 130,362 to France, 131,906 to the North and South of Europe, Mexico, &c., and 152,817 to United States ports. On a comparison of the exports with those of last year, there would appear to be an increase of 185,628 bales to Great Britain, 12,949 to France, 21,760 to the North and South of Europe, Mexico, &c., while to United States ports there is a decrease 61,026 bales. The total receipts at all the Atlantic and Gulf ports, up t latest dates received, as shown by our genera] cotton table, are 2,331,464 bales; and the crop, when made up by the New York Shipping List, will probably not vary much from 2,350,000 bales.
We have thus rapidly sketched the course of the market during a season of extraordinary vicissitudes, and such an one as we hope never to witness again. In glancing at the peculiarities of the season it may be safely remarked that it's prominent feature, (and, as the sequel has proven, its prominent error,) has been an under-estimate of the production. This, as we have already intimated, led to the opening of the market at unfortunately high prices, which, under speculative action, were subsequently carried to a higher point than they have reached since 1839. These under estimates were to a greater or less extent general, and we think it may safely be asserted that a large majority placed the crop at or under 2,200,000 bales, while the bulk of the business during the first six or seven mo of the season was done upon a basis of 2,100,000 to 2,150,000 bales. The estimates of very few parties were beyond what the actual crop is likely to be, and these were looked upon as so extravagant that their opinions provoked discussion and animadversion to a degree that has given them wide-spread notoriety. And thus is added another to the many examples of the fallacy of early
549estimates of a crop whose culture occupies so broad an extent of country, embracing nearly every variety of soil and climate, and requiring many months to determine definitely the result. The error has been followed by most disastrous consequences, but that those who fell into it (and they embrace planters, factors, and purchasers,) were honest in their opinions, their own losses should be taken demonstrate.
In viewing the causes of this astounding reaction the leading ones, of course, are the under estimates of the crop, and the consequent elevation of prices to what has proved to have been an extravagant point. But as a collateral one, growing out of these, we may mention that the entire or partial stoppage of many of our home mills, owing to the high prices of the raw material, and excessive stocks of manufactured articles on hand, threw an undue proportion of the supply upon the European markets. Thus Great Britain alone has not only taken the whole excess of our receipts over those of last year, but nearly 100,000 bales more, that, with moderate prices, would have been consumed in the United States, To Great Britain, therefore, the crop has been equal to one of about 2,450,008 bales, while at the same time there has been a material increase in her imports from Brazil, Egypt, and the East Indies. And besides this ample present supply, large estimates of our coining crop are indulged, which have had a marked influence in the depression of prices. Thus, once more the spinners gained the ascendancy, and for weeks panic, which loses sight of the laws of supply and demand, seemed to reign in the Liverpool market. It is gratifying, however, to observe that, notwithstanding the prevalence of comparatively high prices during a great portion of the first six months of the current year, the amount taken for consumption in Great Britain slightly exceeds the amount taken for the same purpose during a similar period last year, and by the last accounts the weekly average has reached 33,000 bales — the highest ratio of consumption yet attained in the history of the cotton manufacture. The following table exhibits the imports, delivery, stock, &c., in the whole of Great Britain for the first six months ended on the 30th June last, and a comparison with the same period in 1850.
|Stock, 1st January bales||521,120||558,390|
|Imports, six months||1,156,500||940,862|
|Export, six months||95,300||119,800|
|Stock, June 30||806,200||608,500|
|Weekly average taken for consumption||29,851||29,652|
In France, also, and other European countries, the deliveries for consumption exceed those of last year, the United States being the only point where a decrease is shown.
In respect to the growing crop, which is now a matter interest, we propose to sketch briefly its progress and present prospects, leaving to others the indulgence in estimates, which the past season, among many that have preceded it, has shown to be attended with very great uncertainty, and with very serious consequences. It is understood there was considerable increase in the breadth of land planted, but an unusually cold and backward spring retarded the growth of the plant, and it had made comparatively little progress up to the early part of May, when a favorable change in the character of the weather gave an impulse to vegetation. From this time up to the 1st July, the accounts from the country, with some exceptions, were favorable, though from the Uplands there was some complaint of a lack of sufficient rain. The plant generally, however, though small, was said to look healthy, and to give good promise; beside which, the crops were unusually "clean," the very lack of rain complained of having favored cultivation by preventing any excessive growth of grass and weeds. But now very serious complaints began to reach us from the Uplands, of the long continuance.
550of the drought; and as week succeeded week without any rain, except an occasional shower, in partial neighborhoods, these complaints were reiterated, and became more general, accompanied by representations that the very fair prospects which the crops presented up to about the 1st July, were blasted to an important extent, and that no subsequent combination of circumstances could full recover them. For some weeks past, however, showers have been frequent, particularly in this immediate neighborhood, and in some parts of the interior heavy rains are reported, which, coming at so late a period, are said to have been rather prejudicial to the crops. The bottom lands are generally admitted to give excellent promise, but so many contingencies may yet arise, favorable or adverse, that calculation of the result would be mere conjecture. We make no estimates, but we will record it as our impression that, while the error of last year was an under-estimate of the crop, the error of the coming one is likely to be in the opposite direction.
With regard to the market prospects for the coming crop, we think they may be said to be fair for ready sales, at moderate prices. In Great Britain particularly, all the leading elements of an active and prosperous trade would seem to be in combination; namely, low stocks of goods and of the raw material in the hands of the manufacturers, cheap food, abundance of money, and the world at peace. Already the ratio of consumption is greater than ever before attained, and even a further increase is not improbable. In our own country, too there will soon, doubtless, be renewed activity, as the stocks of goods, which for a long time have been excessive, are much reduced, and the manufacturers are understood to be without any considerable stocks of the raw material. Altogether the prospect would seem to be favorable for fair returns to the planter, even with a large crop, and the chances are that the relation of consumption to supply will be such as to leave the leading markets without excessive stocks at the close of the season.
The first bale of new crop was received here on the 25th July, being seventeen days earlier than the first receipt of last year, and the total receipts of new crop up to this date are 3,155 bales, against 67 bales last year. Of this quantity there have been sales reported to the extent of about 2,509 bales, at a range of 8 a 8Åº cents for middling, and 8Ë a 9 cents for good middling to middling fair, and the market closes with a total stock, including all on shipboard not cleared, of 14,890 bales, of which about 11,000 bales are in factors' hands, embracing some 10,000 bales of old crop held under limits.
MIXED COTTON. We have, on former occasions, called the attention of planters to the existence of an evil which loudly calls for remedy. We refer to the culpable negligence of many whose duty it is to attend to the packing of cotton, as shown by the frequent discovery of mixed bales; namely, bales that are found to contain two, three, or more qualities and colors. This negligence often leads to vexatious reclamations, and sometimes to expensive law suits, as it generally happens that the discovery is not made until the cotton has reached the hands of the manufacturer at a distant market. Then, if any portion of the bale is found to be inferior in quality to the sample by which it was purchased, the whole bale is reduced to the value of the lowest grade found, and the difference reclaimed. Nor is this all, for reclamations are sometimes insisted on even when the purchase has been made by a sample of the lowest grade, on the ground that mixed bales are unmerchantable. Thus the planter not only loses the difference in price between the lower and higher qualities which careless packing has mingled in the same bale, but is called upon to pay that difference again. And beside all this, when the irregular packing is once discovered, as it must necessarily be, somewhere and at sometime, it throws discredit upon the planter's crop generally, and thus operates to his disadvantage. It sometimes happens that the discover is made here, before sale, by drawing samples from different parts of a bale. When this is the case the factor can seldom obtain more than the market value of the lowest sample. The evil which we have here depicted, and which is not only attended with direct loss to the planter, but is also productive of many vexations controversies, is venial in its character, and only reprehensible for the confusion it introduces into a most important branch of trade, and one that can only be conducted
551with facility and economy upon the basis of good faith in the honesty and integrity of the planter. These virtues being accorded to him, he owes it to himself, to his factor, and to his purchaser to exercise more care and vigilance over those who have his interest in charge.
SUGAR. At the date of our last annual report the prospect was considered fair for a full average yield, as the weather for some three months previous had been of a remarkably favorable character for promoting the growth of the cane. Subsequently, however, the character of the season proved unpropitious, an extraordinary period of drought having ensued, which prevented the cane from yielding juice freely, and also delayed the grinding, from the lack of water for working the steam engines. Thus, the frost of the middle of November found an unusually large proportion of the crop exposed, and the two causes above noted combined with damage from overflows, led to a material reduction in the expected product. According to the statement of Mr. P. A. Champomier, the crop of 1850-51 amounted to 211,203 hogsheads, weighing 231,194,000 pounds. Of this quantity, 184,372 hogsheads are stated to be brown sugar, made by the old process, and 26,831 hogsheads refined, clarified, &c., including cistern bottoms; and the whole is the product of 1,495 sugar-houses, of which 907 have steam, and 588 have horse-power. The falling off in the crop, as compared with that of the previous year, is 26,720 hogsheads, or 38,575,009 pounds.
The stock estimated to be on hand at the close of last year was 2,000 hogsheads, and this quantity being added to the crop, as above stated, makes a supply, in round numbers, of 213,000 hogsheads. As nearly as can be ascertained the distribution of this supply has been as follows: shipments out of the State by sea, (including an estimate of 10,000 hogsheads for the exports from Attakapas,) 57,000 hogsheads; consumption of the city and neighborhood, 15,000 hogsheads; taken for refining in the city and State, including cistern bottoms, 15,000 hogsheads stock now on hand in the State, estimated at 2,200 hogsheads; leaving as the quantity taken for the West, 123,800 hogsheads. The quantity shipped to Atlantic ports is about 45,000 hogsheads, against 90,000 last year.
The first receipt of the new crop was two hogsheads on the 17th October; one week later than the first receipt of the previous year. The two hogsheads were of good grain, but of course were not well drained, and they were sold at six cents per pound. Subsequently, supplies came forward slowly, and it was not until the latter part of the month that the business assumed any considerable importance. The course of the market will be best indicated by the following table, which shows the highest and lowest point in each month for fair sugar on the levee: —
|October cents perlb.||6 a 6Ë||5Ë a 5 5/8|
|November||5Ë a 5Å¾||4Å¾ a 5|
|December||5 a 5Åº||4Å¾ a 5|
|January||5Ë a 5Ë||4Å¾ a 5|
|February||5 a 5 3/8||4Å¾ a 5 1/8|
|March||4 7/8 a 5Åº||4 5/8 a 5|
|April||5 3/8 a 5Å¾||4 7/8 a 5Åº|
|May||5 5/8 a 5 7/8||5 3/8 a 5Å¾|
|June||5 5/8 a 6||5Ë a 5 7/8|
|July||5Å¾ a 6||5 3/8 a 5Å¾|
|August||6Åº a 6Ë||5Å¾ a 6|
It will thus be seen that the market has not been subjected to any violent fluctuations throughout the season, but on the contrary that it has generally been characterized by great steadiness, while the average of prices has been considerably above that of last year. The transactions on plantation have to a great extent been on private terms, though we obtained particulars of the sales of quite a number of crops, as they occurred, and we find by our records that the ruling rates in January and February were 4 frac78; a 5Ë, in March 4Å¾ a 5 â , in April 5 a 5Ë, in May 5Ë a 5Å¾, and in June, when nearly all had passed out of planter's hands, 5 7-16 a 5 â cents per lb. The deficiency in the Louisiana crop
552has led to increased imports of foreign sugars, and thus we have from Cuba 451 hhds. and 29,293 boxes, against 397 hhds. and 18,843 boxes last year. We have also an import from Brazil of 1,354 boxes of 1,800 pounds each, the first ever received at this port, but to be followed, we understand, by several other cargoes. Besides the Louisiana crop there were produced last year in Texas about 6,000 and in Florida about 1,500 hhds.
With respect to the growing crop, we have but a few remarks to offer, it being too early in the season to arrive at anything definite regarding its probable extent. It is understood that the severe frosts of November last cut short the supply of plant cane, and thus somewhat circumscribed the cultivation, while the cold spring, and the subsequent long drought, were unfavorable to the progress of the plant, particularly in the upper parishes. Within the past few weeks, however, frequent showers of rain have fallen, and the crops in most sections are said to present a marked improvement. The result, however, cannot be determined for many weeks to come, and we shall close these remarks by referring to the annexed table, which gives the product of each year since 1828.
|Crop of l850 hhds.||211,203||Cropof 1839 hhds.||115,000|
|Crop of 1849||247,923||Crop of 1838||70,000|
|Crop of l848||220,000||Crop of 1837||65,000|
|Crop of 1847||240,000||Crop of 1836||70,000|
|Crop of 1846||140,000||Crop of 1835||30,000|
|Crop of 1845||186,650||Crop of 1834||100,000|
|Crop of 1844||200,000||Crop of 1833||75,000|
|Crop of 1843||100,000||Crop of 1832||70,000|
|Crop of 1842||140,000||Crop of 1829||48,000|
|Crop of 1841||90,000||Crop of 1828||88,000|
|Crop of 1840||87,000|
From the best available data it would appear that (estimating the product of maple sugar at 50 millions pounds) the present consumption of the United States is about 550 millions of pounds — equal to 25 pounds for each individual of our population. Of this quantity Louisiana and Texas, with their present extent of cultivation and an average product, can furnish fully 300 millions pounds. Besides the sugar there were imported into the United States, in 1849-50, from foreign countries, 25 millions gallons molasses, and the product of Louisiana, for the same season, was 12 millions gallons.
Molasses. According to the statement of Mr. P. A. Champomier, the product of molasses from the last cane crop, estimating 50 gallons for every 1,000 pounds of sugar, was 10,500,000 gallons, or 1,500,000 gallons less than the product of the previous year. This deficient supply has been productive of a higher average of prices than has been attained for several years past, as will be seen by the following table, which exhibits the highest and lowest point in each month, for sales on the levee, in barrels: —
|October cents perlb.||33 a 25||26Ë a 27|
|November||27 a 28||24 a 24Ë|
|December||24Ë a 24Å¾||23 a 24|
|January||20 a 24Å¾||18 a 23Ë|
|February||23 a 27Ë||18 a 24|
|March||25 a 30||23 a 27Ë|
|April||25 a 33||22 a 30Ë|
|May||26 a 35||25 a 32|
|June||25 a 32||25 a 30|
|July||22 a 30||20 a 28|
|August||22 a 32||22 a 30|
About the middle of December the market opened with a good demand for crops on plantation, at 20 a 21 cents, and during the subsequent few weeks large sales were effected at this range, though mostly at 20Ë cents per gallon. The highest sales of the season, according to our records, were in February and March, when some few crops were disposed of at 23 a 23Ë cents per gallon. It
553being found about this time that the Louisiana crop was nearly exhausted, orders for cargoes were sent to Cuba, and they began to arrive early in April. Up to this date the imports are equal to about 1,200,000 gallons, most of which has been taken for refining purposes. Of the crop of 10,500,000 gallons there have been shipped to Atlantic ports (estimating the exports from Attakapas at 12,000 barrels) about 2,000,000 gallons, against 4,500,000 gallons last year; leaving 8,500,000 gallons as the quantity taken for the consumption of the South and West. The receipts on the levee, from the interior, have been 184,483 barrels, against 189,813 barrels last year.
TOBACCO. The tobacco trade, during the past season, has been marked by extraordinary vicissitudes, which have produced remarkable fluctuations in prices; and in tracing the course of our own market, we shall find it necessary to touch, from time to time, upon that of others, by the movements in which ours has been influenced in an unusual degree.
At the commencement of the year the stock in this port, as shown by our tables, was 14,842 hhds., of which amount we estimated that factors held 6,500 hhds. and our quotations then were, for Factory Lugs 5 a 5Ë Planters' Lugs 5Ë 6Åº Leaf, common, 6Å¾ a 7Åº Fair to Fine 7Ë a 8Åº Choice 8Ë a 9 cents per lb. For several months prior to the close of the previous season, we had received from the West, as well as from Virginia and Maryland, very gloomy accounts regarding the crop, which had induced holders to withdraw a large portion of their stocks from the market, and the quantity actually on sale probably did not exceed 2,000 to 2,500 hhds. In the month of September the demand was fair, resulting in sales of about 2,000 hhds., and an advance of Åº cent in prices. On the 8th October a number of telegraphic dispatches were received, announcing frost in many parts of Kentucky and Tennessee, on the morning of the 5th of that month, and staling that very great injury had been done to the crops. These accounts at once produced a speculative feeling in the market, and prices commenced to tend upward. Further intelligence from the country having fully confirmed the frost news, and this being met by advices of an important improvement in the English markets, the excitement here during the ensuing thirty days was very great, and the advance in so limited a period almost unprecedented. The sales from the 8th October to the 12th November exceeded 6,000 hhds., (being swelled to this amount by a number of resales) and at the latter date our quotations were, for Lugs 7Ë a 8; Leaf, inferior to common, 9 a 9Ë Fair to Fine, 10 a 11; Choice and selections, 11Ë a 12Ë cents per lb. This important advance, although caused in a great measure, no doubt, by the accounts of the damage done by the frost, and the consequently reduced estimates made of the crop, (the figures of well-informed parties then ranging from 40,000 to 50,000 hhds.,) was attributable in at least as great a degree to upward movement that had taken place in England, prior to the receipt of the frost news in that country, the sales in London and Liverpool, during September, having exceeded 4,500 hhds., at an advance of 1d. a 1Ë d. per lb. On the 6th of November the London quotations for Western Leaf, ranged from 3Ë d, to 9d., and for Western Strips, from 9d. to 15d. The bulk of the limited stock remaining on sale here in the latter part of November was in the hands of speculators and a large portion of it having been purchased at high prices but a short time previous, it was not offered freely, even at the very full rates then quoted. The demand for some weeks following was by no means animated, but holders were enabled to realize tolerably steady prices for old crop, until the close of February, at which time the stock of old was reduced to a very low point. Of the new crop the first receipt was on the 14th December, an unusually late period, which tended to strengthen the impression that the extent of the yield would approximate to the lower estimates that had been made, and the smallness of the arrivals for some months served to confirm this belief. The proportion of frosted tobacco in the early receipts was large, and went to show that the farmers had been induced, by the high prices current here and elsewhere, to prepare and send to market an article that, at other times, they probably would have left in the fields. The extent to which this has contributed in producing
554the great decline that has since taken place, it would be difficult to determine, but that it was very great no one can doubt. And we may here remark with regard to the quality of the past crop that although a small portion of it, from certain sections, has been equal, if not superior, to any that we have had here for some years past, the bulk of it has proved to be exceedingly deficient in size, substance and color.
Early in March it became known that the contract for the supply of the French Government had not been adjudicated, the Regie having rejected the lowest bids. During March the arrivals increased greatly, and before the end of that month we had become apprised that the manufacturers of England were making a determined stand, with every prospect of succeeding, against the holders of the very heavy stock then in the London and Liverpool markets, a large portion of which was known to be held on speculation by comparatively few parties. At this juncture the New York market began to droop, the stock here was rapidly accumulating, and the history of our market for the subsequent three months may be summed up in a few words: with a large and steadily increasing stock, and with generally but one, and never more than two large buyers operating, prices went down with almost as great rapidity as they had gone up the previous fall. Indeed, for many weeks it may be said, (and we so remarked at the time,) that we had no market; for the value of any description of tobacco could not be fixed with any degree of accuracy, and many sales were forced at constantly reduced figures. This state of things continued until about the middle of July, at which period the receipts amounted to 56,206 hhds., against 53,957 the previous year, and the stock on sale was estimated at about 16,000 hhds.; our quotations were for frosted 2 a3; Planters' Lugs 3Ë a 4Ë; Leaf, inferior to common, 5 a 5Å¾; Fair to Fine 6Åº a 7; Choice and Selections 7Ë a 8Ë cents per lb. These low prices brought buyers out more generally, and in the last twenty days of July the sales amounted to nearly 7,000 hhds., prices recovering during that period to the extent of Ë a Å¾ cent, and on some qualities 1 cent per pound. Since the beginning of August the demand has been moderate, of 23,771 hhds., of which 10,000 hhds. are held by factors.
With respect to the growing crop, we have to remark that the advices have varied exceedingly from time to time. In the spring it was stated that the planting was unusually large. In June and July there were great complaints of drought, in nearly every section, and a large proportion of the planting was said to have been lost in consequence of the lack of rain. Within the last two or three weeks, however, we have received accounts of refreshing showers, by which it is stated the crop has been greatly improved; and although there is no longer a probability of so heavy a yield as was anticipated by many some months ago, on the other hand there would seem to be little likelihood of any serious deficiency in the supply.
The defects in the quality of the crop, to which we have already allured, are attributable to the unfavorable seasons for planting, growing and curing, which the farmers have had to contend with; but we deem it proper to remark that probably no tobacco crop has ever been sent forward, upon the preparation of which for market so little care appeared to have been bestowed. We allude to this solely with a view of calling the attention of the farmers to the fact that if they wish to sustain the character of this market, it will be incumbent upon them to give at least a reasonable share of care and attention to the handling sorting and prizing of their crops.
WESTERN PRODUCE. This heading, as connected with our trade, embraces a great variety of commodities, of immense value, but our limited space will only admit of our noting the past season's operations in some few of the leading articles.
555In the supplies of Flour and Indian corn, there has been a material increase, as compared with last year, the receipts of the former since September 1st, being 941,106 barrels, against 591,986 barrels, and of the latter equal to 3,300,000 bushels, against 2,750,000 bushels. Of Wheat, also, there has been an increased supply, but little or none of it has been exported, and only a very small proportion sold here, the bulk having been on account of our city mills, or for transmission to Alabama and Georgia. The receipts are equal to 180,000 bushels against 110,00 bushels last year, Of Corn Meal the receipts are 3,662 barrels, against 5,187 barrels last year. The total exports of Flour since 1st September, amount to 583,418 barrels against 211,750 barrels last year. Of this quantity 205,508 barrels, were shipped to Great Britain, 145,340 to West Indies, &c., the remainder to coastwise ports. Of Indian corn the total exports have been equal to 1,300,000 bushels, against 1,060,000 bushels last year. Of this quantity 135,000 bushels were shipped to Great Britain and Ireland, 265,000 to West Indies, &c., and the remainder to coastwise ports. The following tables indicate the course of the market, by presenting the highest and lowest prices in each month, the range being according to quality.
|September per barrel||$4 62 Ë a 25||$4 12 Ë a 5 00|
|October||4 05 a 5 12Ë||4 25 a 5 12Ë|
|November||4 50 a 5 25||4 20 a 5 12Ë|
|December||4 47 a 5 12Ë||4 25 a 5 00|
|January||4 35 a 5 12Ë||4 12Ë a 5 00|
|February||4 20 a 5 00||3 90 a 4 75|
|March||4 00 a 5 00||3 65 a 4 75|
|April||4 15 a 5 00||3 90 a 4 75|
|May||4 10 a 4 90||3 70 a 4 75|
|June||3 70 a 4 75||3 25 a 4 75|
|July||4 00 a 5 25||3 40 a 5 00|
|August||4 50 a 6 00||3 50 a 5 00|
|September per bush||.. a 68||50 a 60||March per bush||57 a 60||50 a 58|
|October||60 a 75||50 a 60||April||50 a 58||46 a 55|
|November||85 a 90||68 a 75||May||46 a 54||35 a 50|
|December||65 a 70||50 a 58||June||35 a 57||34 a 55|
|January||65 a 70||60 a 68||July||34 a 60||34 a 58|
|February||60 a 68||54 a 67||August||34 a 62||30 a 47|
The annexed table exhibits the exports of Breadstuffs from the United States to Great Britan and Ireland since 1st September, compared with the same period last year. By this it will be seen that there has been a very large increase in the exports of Flour and Wheat in those of Indian Corn there is shown a falling over fifty per cent. Nearly two-thirds of the whole has been shipped he Port of New York.
It is understood that the grain crops of the West are very fair, if not abundant; and this is fortunate for the South, where the corn crops have failed, even to a much greater extent than last year, when our planters were compelled to buy largely produce of the western farmers. At the same time, the fine promise of the European crops, if realized, is likely to prevent a very high range of prices, by lessening the demand for export. It was early asserted by western dealers that the "hog crop" would be materially short of that of the previous year, and the correctness of this position would seem to be demonstrated by the very
556large falling off in the receipts of Pork at this market, as shown by our tables. The supply of Beef, also, has been diminished, and the average of prices for both Pork and Beef has been much above that of last year. The following table's exhibit the highest and lowest points of each month.
|September||$1025 a 10 50||$10 12Ë a 10 25||$8 50 a 9 90||$8 50 a 9 00|
|October||11 12Ë a 11 50||10 25 a 10 37Ë||9 00 a 9 25||8 25 a 8 75|
|November||1120 a 22 00||11 25 a 11 62Ë||8 25 a 8 75||8 12Ë a 8 40|
|December||1200 a 1250||1150 a....||8 50 a 9 00||8 12Ë a 8 40|
|January||1200 a 1250||1175 a 1200||10 00 a 11 00||9 00 a 9 50|
|February||1350 a 14 25||1250 a 13 00||12 00 a 13 00||10 50 a 11 00|
|March||12 75 a1350||1250 a 13 00||10 00 a ll 50||10 50 a 11 00|
|April||1400 a 14 75||1325 a 13 75||11 75 a 12 25||10 75 a 11 25|
|May||1475 a 15 00||1425 a 1475||12 50 a l3 00||1200 a 12 50|
|June||1450 a 14 75||1400 a 14 50||12 00 a 12 50||1200 a 12 50|
|July||14 00 a 14 37Ë||12 00 a 12 50||1200 a 12 50|
|August||1650 a 17 00||1500 a 15 25||15 50 a 16 00||1250 a 1300|
|September||$11 50 a 12 00||$11 50 a l2 00||$8 00 a 8 25||7 50 a 8 00|
|October||11 50 a 12 00||10 75 a ll 50||7 50 a 8 00||700a800|
|November||10 75 a 11 50||10 00 a 11 00||7 00 a 7 50||6 00 a 6 50|
|December||10 00 a 11 50||10 00 a 11 00||6 00 a 9 00||6 00 a 9 00|
|January||10 00 a 11 50||10 00 a 11 25||8 00 a 9 00||8 00 a 9 00|
|February||11 50 a l2 00||10 00 a ll 50||850a950||850a950|
|March||11 50 a 12 00||10 00 a 12 00||8 50 a 900||800a900|
|April||11 50 a l2 50||11 00 a l2 00||9 00 a 9 50||800a900|
|May||11 50 a l2 50||11 50 a 12 50||9 50 a 10 50||9 00 a 10 00|
|June||12 00 a 13 00||11 50 a 12 50||10 00 a 10 50||10 00 a 10 50|
|July||12 00 a 13 00||12 00 a 13 00||10 00 a 10 50||10 00 a 10 50|
|August||14 00 a l5 00||13 50 a l4 00||1050 a ll 00||10 50 a ll 00|
The decrease in the supply of Lard has been proportionate to that of Pork, and prices have been correspondingly enhanced. The total exports since 1st September, (all packages being reduced to kegs) are equal to 738,956 kegs, against 1,554,849 kegs last year. Of this quantity, 188,353 kegs were exported to foreign ports, against 696,259 kegs last year, Great Britian having taken 41,663 kegs against 425,830 kegs last year. The following table, showing the highest and lowest range of prices, according to quality, in each month, will exhibit the course of the market.
|September cents per pound||5Å¾ a 7Åº||5 a 7Åº|
|October||5 a 7Ë||5 a 7Åº|
|November||6Ë a 7 3/8||5 a 7Åº|
|December||6 1/8 a 7Ë||6 1/8 a 7 3/8|
|January||7 a 9||6Ë a 7Ë|
|February||7 a 9Ë||7 a 9|
|March||7 a 9||6Ë a 8Å¾|
|April||8 a 11Ë||6Ë a 8Ë|
|May||8 a 11Ë||8 a 11Åº|
|June||8 a 11Åº||8 a 11Å¾|
|July||8Ë a 11||8Ë a 10Å¾|
|August||8Ë a 12||8Ë a 11|
LEAD. The marked change in the course of trade in this article, which has taken place within the past few years, has divested it of nearly all interest in this market, as, in the almost total absence of foreign demand, our port scarcely more than retains the distinction of a port for the transhipment to the Northern
557cities. The quantity received, too, has further materially fallen off, being only 325,505 pigs since 1st September, against 415,400 pigs during same period last year, and 785,000 pigs in 1845-6. This last amount was the largest ever received here during one year, and the foreign exports for the same period were 175,000 pigs, the greater part of which went to France. During the past season the total foreign exports are only 1,461 pigs to Genoa, and 179 to Yucatan, and the entire sales in this market barely reach 20,000 pigs, the extreme range of prices being $4,00 a $4 62Ë per 100 lbs.; the highest in May and lowest in June. The total exports since 1st September, are 320,608 pigs against 410,146 pigs last year.
HEMP. We intimated in our last annual report there was likely to be a material falling off in the supply of Hemp, as compared with the year previous and the result shows the receipts here, since 1st September, to be 25,116 bales against 34,792 bales last year, or a decrease of 9,676 bales. Respecting the course of trade in the article, we may say, as in the case of Lead, that our city has almost ceased to be a market of sale, as there is no foreign demand, and the bulk of the supply is now sent here for transhipment to nothern ports. Thus the entire sales of the season have barely reached 1,000 bales at $90 00 a $103 00 per ton for dew rotted, and the total exports are 22,220 bales, of which 12 bales to Bremen is the only one to a foreign port. The following table exhibits the comparative receipts and average prices for a series of years.
We have made some inquiries respecting the growing crop, and find that those best informed on the subject, expect that the supply will be even less than that of last year.
COFFEE. This prominent article among our foreign products, has met with extensive demand during the past season, and as importers have generally met the market pretty freely, and speculators have been more guarded in their operations, prices have not taken so wide a range, nor been subject to such sudden and extreme fluctuations, as was the case last year. Still, however, the difference between the highest and the lowest points is very material, amounting to 4Ë cents per pound, the highest being 13 cents in the early part of October, before the nival of any new crop, and the lowest 8Ë cents, about the middle of June. Last year the highest rate was 14Å¾ cents, in February, and 7Ë in May. The first cargo of the season arrived on the 17th October, and the opening price for any considerable parcel was 12 cents per pound. The following table show the imports, stocks &c.
|Estimated stock out of grocer's hands on 1st Sept., 1850, of all kinds||bags||28,000|
|Imports direct from Rio Janeiro||279,190|
|Cuba, Laguayra, &c||10,367|
|Received coastwise for sale||36,200|
|Making a supply of||353,757|
|Total supply last year||302,840|
In the direct imports from Rio, there is an increase, as compared with last year, of 54,177 bags, while in those of Cuba, &c., there is a decrease of 10,260 bags, and in the receipts coastwise for sale, a decrease of 15,000 bags. The present stock of all kinds, out of grocers hands, is estimated at 4,000 bags, which would leave 349,757 bags as the quantity taken for the consumption of the West and South, against 269,554 bags last year; or an increase of 80,0203 bags. From the 9,554 bags last year; or an increase of 80,203 bags. From the interesting circular of H. T. Lonsdale, Esq, Coffee Broker, we take the following which shows the monthly sales and average prices for Rio Coffee for
558the year ending July 1st, 1851, which embraces the Coffee season. It will be seen that the average price of the entire year is 10 18-100 cents per pound.
|1850 — July||11,833||$9 36|
The total export from Rio de Janeiro during the last crop year, ended on the 30th June, was 1,880.685 bags, of which 852,144 bags were shipped to the United States, against 573,059 bags the year previous. The stock on hand at Rio was estimated at 50,000 bags, chiefly of the low qualities. With respect to the new crop, circulars state that it was expected to arrive freely in August, and promised to be of good quality. Its extent is estimated at not less than 1,500,000 bags, besides which there are supposed to be 300,000 to 500,000 bags of last year's crop remaining over. This would give a supply for the crop year to end on the 30th June next of 1,800,000 to 2,000,000 bags. The particulars of the past year's export to the United States are as follows: to New Orleans and Mobile, 276,658, bags, Baltimore 256,032, New York 243,215, Philadelphia 33,688, Boston 11,218, Charleston and Savanah 7,015, California 3,318; total 852,144 bags.
EXCHANGE. The range for Sterling has not varied greatly from that of last year. The extreme rates are 6Ë a 7Ë per cent premium in January, and 10 a 11 in August. Francs, 5f. 30 a 5f. 35 per dollar in January, and 5f. 05 a 5f. 12Ë in May. New York and Boston, sixty day's sight, 3 a 3Ë per cent discount in January and 1 3/8 a 1Å¾ in July. Sight checks 2 a 2Ë per cent discount in January, and 1 per cent premium in August.
FREIGHTS. We have no space for extended remarks under this head, and must content ourselves with stating that, while the fluctuations from time, to time have been very material, the general average of rates has been considerably above that of last year. As the rate for cotton to Liverpool is the leading guide, we give the extremes of the year, the highest being f a 13-16d. in February, and the lowest 5-16 a fd. in October, April, June and July. The total number of arrivals from sea since September 1st, is 2,144, viz: — 615 ships, 190 steamships, 320 barks, 315 brigs, and 704 schooners; and the entries at the Custom-House during the year ended 30th June last wers as follows: — whole number of vessels 2,054; tonnage 768,027. Of these 333 vessels, measuring 136,998 tons, were foreign from foreign ports. Last year the whole number of entries was 2,141, and the tonnage 763,634. The proportion of foreign was 378 vessels, and 176,344 tons.
|Inferior, damaged, &c||288||845||567|