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1904, 144,700 in 1905, 129,000 in 1906, and 127,000 in 1907.
Brazil is the Argentine's best customer for flour, having
imported 84,000 tons in 1904, 103,000 in 1905, 114,000 in 1906,
and 118,300 in 1907.

Great Britain was the second-best customer for flour,
having imported 14,800 tons in 1904, 24,400 in 1905, 5400 in
1906, and 1200 in 1907 ; to-day the exportation is negligible.

It is estimated that there are 600 or 700 flour-mills in
the Argentine, representing a capital of from £2,200,000 to
£2,640,000. Buenos Ayrcs has two, which have been lately
installed on American models. They are situated on land
belonging to Madero Harbour, and comprise a fine and power-
ful equipment, with grain-elevators, silos, and granaries. One
is the property of the Belgian Steam Flour-mills Company,
and has a capacity of from 12,000 to 14,000 tons. The other,



238 THE ARGENTINE IN THE 20th CENTURY

with a capacity of 80,000 tons, was built by the efforts of
two great railway companies, the Buenos-Ayres Rosario and
the Central Argentine. We have seen that no less important
installations are shortly to be built at Rosario, by the French
company which holds the harbour concession.

The Refrigerating Industry. — Among all the Argentine
industries the most important is that of chilling or freezing
meat and other foodstuffs. It is gradually replacing, in the
export markets, the salt meat or saladeros industry, which
formerly was the only industry in the country dependent
upon stock-raising. The latter industry is carried on princi-
pally in Buenos Ayres, Santa Fe, Entre Rios, and Corrientes.
The principal refrigerating establishments are the
following : —

The Sansinena Frozen Meat Co., with a capital of

£600,000, and the warehouses known as La Negra, at Buenos

Ayres and Bahia Blanca, in the quarter known as Cuatreros.

The River Plate Fresh Meat Co., with a capital of £453,600,

whose warehouses are in the Province of Buenos Ayres.

The Palmas Produce Co., which is a component part of j
James Nelson & Co., and has a capital of £500,000, exploits '
the district of Campana.

La Blanca, with a capital of £300,000, established at
Buenos Ayres.

The Plata Cold Storage Co., with a capital of £403,805,
situated at La Plata.

Recently another refrigerating establishment has been
inaugurated at Zarate, the property of the Smithfield and
Argentine Meat Co., with a mechanical equipment allowing
150 bullocks and 600 sheep to be killed per diem. Its
capital is £200,000.

To this list we may add the Kemmerich Products Co.,
which manufactures extracts of beef. Its capital is £480,000,
and it is established at Santa Elena, in the Province of Entre
Rios. This company owns 2700 square miles of land, 340,000
cattle, 20,000 horses, and 50,000 sheep.

The exports of the refrigerating establishmeuts for the
last seven years are given in the following table, which shows
the enormous increase in the export of quarters of beef,
during the last few years.



THE GREAT ARGENTINE INDUSTRIES 239





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185,294

58,463
158,936
218,083

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263,673
256,918
200,254
259,073
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317,252
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134,595
137,853
405,353
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128,359

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106,941

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255,797
185,352
207,548
118,041
101,792
76,475


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419,186
669,325

51,139
537,451

34,679
261,335
142,070
124,890
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163,624
32,670
68,118
84,476
38,705




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249,071
320,064
191,294
245,045
110,579

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146,410


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553,589
664,860
119,370
454,879

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104,047

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252,918


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240 THE ARGENTINE IN THE 20th CENTURY

The capital invested in the refrigerating industry, includ-
ing both share capital and loans, is estimated at £4,449,825.
The profits obtainable may be judged by the dividends paid
by the most important of the refrigerating companies : the
Sansinena Frozen Meats Co., in 1902, paid 50 per cent, out of
the exceptional profits realised by the sale of cattle in South
Africa during the Boer war. Since then the dividends of
this company have fallen to 10 per cent.

Another cause of the development of this industry is the
closing of English ports against cargoes of live cattle, for fear
of anthrax. It is by the help of this prohibition that the
refrigerating companies have conquered the English market,
which to-day takes up the greater part of our frozen meat,
as before it took our cattle. Steps have of late been taken
with a view to re-opening the ports under a pledge of sanitary
measures ; but nothing decisive has been done, on account of
the protests of English cattle-breeders, and also of the
refrigerating companies, most of which have been created
by English capital.

The Dairy Industry. — Among the industries connected
with cattle-breeding there is one which, without having the
same importance as the industry dealt with above, has yet
a certain margin of development. This is the dairy industry,
with its derivatives, butter and cheese-making.

The Argentine breeders having imported excellent
Durham or Dutch milch-cows, the dairy produce is of the
finest quality.

Large establishments, of which one. La Martona, belongs
to a private company, have been installed for the purpose
of supplying the city of Buenos Ayres with milk. It is
estimated that the daily sale at the counters of La Martona
amounts to 10,000 glasses ; the sales of La Marina amount
to 6000, and of La Oranja Blanca to 10,000 glasses. All
these approximate figures refer to the summer only, and the
sales across the counter by the litre, for family consumption,
and the house to house distribution, are not included in these*
figures. Besides the above establishments there are many
cow-keepers in the city, as well as dairymen who receive
their milk by rail.

As for butter and cheese, it was estimated at the time of



THE GREAT ARGENTINE INDUSTRIES 241

the census of 1895 that there were 357 establishments devoted
to this industry. In the matter of butter the Argentine
does more than suffice to itself — though ten years ago this was
not the case — but to-day it exports considerable quantities
to England, Brazil, and South Africa.

To give the reader some idea of the dimensions which
the butter-making industry may attain in the future, we
need only cite the following data : —

According to the national census of 1895 there were
22,000,000 cattle in the Argentine Republic, of which only
1,200,000 figured as milch cows ; the value of the latter
being not less than £14,000,000. Butter-making and cheese-
making were very restricted industries, especially the former,
and the statistics of 1895 mention an export of only 500 tons.
But the impulse was already given ; and the combined efforts
of agriculturalists and cattle-breeders, directed towards the
improvement of the bovine species, were about to give
an extraordinary impetus to the butter - making industry.
Let us see how the situation has improved between 1895, the
time of the last national census, and 1908, the year in which
the agricultural and pastoral census was taken.

This latter inventory has shown that in 1908 the
Argentine Republic contained 29,119,625 head of cattle, of
which 2,16.^,900 were milch cows and 12,825,904 were cows
emploj^ed for breeding purposes. That is, considering the
milch cows only, we do not find a very extraordinary increase
since 1895, although all agricultural and pastoral industries
have undergone such a remarkable development. It is ex-
tremely probable, however, that a certain number of milch
cows are counted among the cows employed for breeding
purposes, as the latter do produce milk, whether for con-
sumption on the farm or for commercial purposes. Here are
the figures of the exportation of butter from 1895 to 1908 : —

Year. Number of Tons Exported. Value.

180.5 494 £24,720

1896 00;5 45,160

1897 GOO 29,980

189S 927 46,320

1899 1,179 58,980

1900 1,056 52,740

1901 1,510 75,600



242 THE ARGENTINE IN THE 20th CENTURY



Year.
1902
1903
1904
1905
1906
1907
1908



umber of Tons Exported.


Value.


4,125


£253,580


5,350


426,580


7,459


423.560


5,393


431,460


4,405


352,400


3,035


242,800


3,550


284,000



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These figures are sufficiently satisfactory, but they are far
from representing the possibilities of the future, when the]
improvement of breeds and the establishments of new
creameries will permit of the manufacture of butter on a far
larger scale.

Among the present stock of 30,000,000 cattle there ought
to be a proportion of at least 45 per cent, of milch cows, or,
12 millions ; at the very least 8 millions. Counting upon aJP"*
daily yield of 17'6 pints of milk per cow, valued, in its
original state or in the form of butter or cheese, at 2d. perj
litre, or l"136d. per pint, we obtain a sum of £64,000 perS'
diem, or £23,000,000 per annum.

But these calculations are purely theoretical. One thing,
however, we can say to the credit of the countr}^ and that is
that its dairy industry is admirably adapted to the require
ments of a great city such as Buenos Ayres, which must per-
force obtain that essential aliment, milk, under the most
favourable conditions of price and quality. An extremely
perfect equipment enables the industry to utilise its by-
products. The problem is not whether the Argentine can
produce such a quantity of butter, but to whom it can sell it,
for in America Brazil is its only customer, while in Europe ■
it has to struggle against the competition of such countries as
France or Switzerland, which countries it would be difficult
to displace.

As for cheese, we quote only from memory ; its production
is practically limited by local requirements. The most im-
portant establishment in this line is that belonging to Senores '^-tiitL
A. & R. Luro, on their estate, San Pascual del Moro. Here the 'i; t.-^
" moro " cheese is made, an imitation of the Roman cheese,
which is consumed in large quantities by the Italian colony.

Breweries. — Although not directly dependent upon the^ fai It
produce of the soil, since the country produces no hops, and, | k^Wi



I






THE GREAT ARGENTINE INDUSTRIES 243

very little barley, we will nevertheless mention the industry
of brewing, as one which is at present in a prosperous con-
dition. It is undertaken by a number of limited liability com-
panies, of which the most important, due to the initiative of M.
Bemburg, is the Brasserie Argentine de Quihnes, a French com-
pany with a capital of £360,000, which brews about 3,960,000
gallons of the 8,360,000 gallons consumed by the nation.

Next, with a much smaller output, comes the Bieckert
Company, with a capital of £362,880, and an output (in 1904)
of 1,349,390 gallons ; the Cerveceria Palermo, with a capital
of £132,000, and an output of 1,2(54,690 gallons ; the Rio
Segundo, in the Province of Cordoba, with a capital of
£80,000, and an output of 423,810 gallons ; and the Fabrica
Nacional de Cerveza, with a capital of £120,000, and an out-
put of 540,540 gallons.

Here are the statistics of production and consumption for
the last six years of the thirty-two Argentine breweries : —

Year.

1902
1903
1904
1905
1906
1907



The national product has won a complete victory over
the foreign article, the importation of which is now negligible :
and it has also popularised the liquid dear to Ganibrinus,
which ten years ago was still a luxury. One can only regret
that agriculture, whose development has of late been so
enormous, has not as yet liberated the brewery from the
necessity of going to the foreigner for his malt, a product of
barley which is the principal raw material of beer. Hitherto,
according to Girola, the native barleys have been very little
used, as they are not appreciated as they deserve to be ; and
the growers, on the other hand, have not taken sufficient
pains to produce a good brewer's barley. We must hope
that this situation will soon be changed, and that more pains
will be taken in the numberless fertile valleys of the
Argentine in the growing of barley ard its improvement.



Production


Consumption


(pints).


(pints).


49,096,235


46,933,520


57,043,272


56,360,350


65,663,824


65,077,538


94,264,637


86,833,214


113,967,478


113,898,794


123,404,693


115,746,857


.503,440,139


484.850,273



244 THE ARGENTINE IN THE 20th CENTURY

Spirits. — The production of alcohol, unlike that of other
industrial products, is rapidly decreasing. In 1907 only
3,823,336 gallons were produced, while in 1897 the production
was nearly 6,600,000 gallons. But we must not forget that
the duty, which was originally 7 centavos per litre (6-72d. per
gallon), was in 1898 increased to 1 piastre per litre, or 8s.
per gallon ; nearly five times the prime cost of the spirits.

Weaving. — In concluding this sketch of the chief in-
dustries of the country which are connected either with
agriculture or stock-raising, it is not out of place to speak of
those which, although so far scarcely developed, may do
better in time under favouring circumstances.

With the development of cotton-planting and a plentiful
supply of wool, it seems that a large number of looms might
be profitably established and operated in the Argentine
But hitherto this industry, of prime importance though it be,
has been held in check by the expense of the necessary
machinery and of coal, which has to be imported from abroad,
and the scarcity of labour.

Tanning. — This industry too, ought in time to occupy a
place of far greater importance than it does now ; for the
raw materials — hides and quebracho, the best of tanning
media, are present in abundance. To understand the station-
ary condition of this industry we must remember that it
would require a considerable spare capital, as the hides have
to remain in the vats for several months, during wliich time
the tanner has need of capital at low terms of interest, which
up to the present time has not been available in the
Argentine.

Quebracho Wood, — Considering its future prospects, we
must give a special place to the industry wliich exploits
quebracho timber ; converting the balks into railway sleepers,
or extracting their tannin.

Red quebracho is found scattered profusely through
the hundreds of square leagues of the country known
as the Chaco, which is situated between 24° and 28° of
south latitude, and 59° and 64° of west longitude, and
also in the Provinces of Santa Fe, Santiago de I'Estero
and Corrientes. The Chaco quebracho is superior to that
of Santiago, which has the misfortune to grow in nitrous



THE GREAT ARGENTINE INDUSTRIES 245

alkaline soil, where the trees do not reach any considerable
dimensions. The Tucuman product is good, as it grows in a
damp soil, when it grows well and is full of sap. Best of all
is the red quebracho of Chaco; it is the richest in tannic
products ; according to an analysis made in the United
States, it contains 30 per cent, of tannin, while the Santa Fe
product contains less than 26 per cent.

Although quebracho wood is absolutely impervious to rot,
and may thus be used in building, for piles, quays, sleepers,
etc., it is exploited more especially for the production of
tannin, as more profit is made by so treating it. A sleeper
requires a good-sized log, considerable time, and much
labour, to say nothing of the loss of wood ; while the
quebracho extract may be obtained from logs of any size.
To-day the value of a sleeper, loaded on the track, is worth
6s. 2d., while three times as much may be made by extracting
the tannin. For this reason the principal companies engaged
in the quebracho trade have abandoned the manufacture of
sleepers, so that certain railway companies — the Buenos
Ajres Western, for example — have had to content them-
selves with iron sleepers.

Until quite lately quebracho wood was sawn into large
round or squared balks, which were then sent abroad, chiefly
to Germany, where the tannin was extracted. During the
five years, 1899-1903, 1,044,000 tons of logs were exported;
in 1903, 200,201 tons; in 1904, 252,723 tons; in 1905, 285,897
tons; in 1906, 230,000 tons; in 1907, 246,514 tons; and
during the first six months of 1908, 127,609 tons. Various
foreign and native companies were formed, with large
capitals, to convert the wood into extract of ^tannin, and to
export it in this form.

These companies are : the Compania Industrial del Chaco,
with a capital of £348,000 and two factories ; one at Las
Toscas, in Santa Fe, with a monthly output of 1000 tons of
extract, and one at Calchagin, in the same Province, which
produces 600 tons per month. These factories are equipped
with German plant.

This company enjoyed a season of great prosperity in
1904 ; although its factories produced only 12,000 tons of
extract instead of 36,000, as they could have done, a dividend



246 THE ARGENTINE IN THE 20th CENTURY

of 42 per cent, was declared. Since then the lack of outlet
and the low prices have paralysed the development of this
industry.

Another tannin factory, able to produce 250 tons of
extract, has been established by Herwig Brothers at Pehuaj6,'
Province of Corrientes.

The Compania Industrial del Chaco is also about to erect,
at Resistencia, a factory with a capacity of 300 tons of extract
per month.

El Quebracho is the last of the companies established for
the extraction of quebracho tannin, and this also began to
work under the most auspicious financial conditions. Its
factories are installed at Fives-Lille, Province of Santa Fe,
on land belonging to the " Kemmerich Products Co." ; these
liave been equipped with the most perfect machines of
German make. The capital of this enterprise amounts to
£32,000, which it is hoped will be repaid by the profits of the
first few years. The monthly output is 450 tons.

The Mocovi Tannin Co., floated with a capital of £60,000,
has a factory some 60 miles east of Los Amores (Santa F^), and
has a capacity of 300 tons per month.

The firm of Hardy & Co., of Las Palmas, near Resistencia,
own a factory which cost £50,000, and produces 200 tons of
extract monthly.

The Formosa company, which deals in timber and
quebracho tannin, has a capital of £200,000. This company
owns 96 square leagues of forest — some 880 square miles —
which are estimated to contain 2 million tons of quebracho-
This company intends to establish a factory capable of pro-
ducing 15,000 tons of tannin yearly.

The Compania Azucarera de Resistencia, with a capital of
£22,700, produces 80 tons of extract monthly, and the factory
of M. Benito Pinasco, at Guaycuru, on the Santa F^ railway
line, produces 30 tons.

Besides these factories, Senors Charles and Joseph Casado,
the Argentine owners of 2800 square leagues of land (over
25,000 square miles), in the Paraguayan Chaco, have estab-
lished two factories, one at Puerto Casado and the other at
Puerto Sastre, which produce, respectively, 500 and 1000 tons
of extract per month.



i



THE GREAT ARGENTINE INDUSTRIES 247

The average yield of quebracho wood is 25 per cent, of
extract ; but as the extract contains a number of resinous
and colouring matters, which must be eliminated during the
process of manufacture, the net yield is 22 to 23 per cent,
of solid extract containing 20 per cent, of water, which
contains 70 to 73'5 per cent, of tannic oxide — that is,
pure tannin.

The system employed in extracting the tannin is based
upon diffusion. Firstly, the wood is reduced to powder
by means of machines which cut or saw the wood, into
which the logs are fed entire. Then, when the wood
is converted into sawdust or fine chips or shavings, it
is passed through extractors or diffusers, which separate the
cellulose from the tannin, which is finally concentrated to
the degree demanded by the market by means of vacuum
pans.

During five years, from 1904 to 1908, the exports were:
20,111 tons in 1904; 29,408 tons in 1905; 30,839 tons in
1906 ; 28,190 tons in 1907 ; 48,160 tons in 1908.

Germany and the United States are the chief buyers of
this valuable product, which forms the principal wealth of
the northern part of the Argentine.

In the first edition of this book we prophesied a rapid
and prosperous development for this industry, which had
already received a considerable impetus ; unhappily this
prediction has not been realised in practice, and the
quebracho industry has suffered, not precisely a crisis,
but a diminution of its outlets which has seriously pre-
judiced its interests.

This trouble is due to various causes. Firstly, the ruinous
competition between the various firms producing quebracho
tannin ; a competition which has now happily disappeared,
thanks to an arrangement concluded between the principal
companies, on the initiative of M. Hermann Schlieper ;
secondly, to the almost prohibitive duties which the German
Government has imposed upon the importation of the
product ; thirdly, the indiff'erence shown by the railway
companies in using on their permanent way sleepers of steel
rather than of quebracho, although the latter is more durable.
It is to be hoped, however, that in course of time these



248 THE ARGENTINE IN THE 20th CENTURY

causes will disappear, and that this industry will in future
recover all the elements of progress.

The Timber Industry. — Another industry which is equally
dependent upon the forestal wealth of the Argentine is that
whose object is the exploitation of the various and valuable
kinds of wood to be found in various parts of the country,
especially in the forests of the Chaco and of Formosa.

The variety of costly woods to be found in these forests
is astonishing. Recently more than thirty-three species have
been classified, all of industrial value ; the best known, besides
the quebracho, being the acacia, algarrobo, button-tree,
lapacho, bay, the smaller cedar, and many other varieties,
black, white and red.

To exploit this forestal wealth a limited company has
lately been formed with a capital of £352,000, which proposes i
to erect two important saw-mills in the Chaco. This com-
pany already owns about 2300 square miles of forest, and
is thinking of increasing its domain by further purchases.

Fisheries. — Finally, quitting the forests for the seas, we
must mention one other industry, at present unimportant,
but apparently capable of considerable development : namely,
the sea fisheries.

Owner of an immense coast-line bathed by the southern
seas, the Argentine has an appreciable store of wealth at her
disposal ; which so far has been drawn upon only in a modest
and almost secret manner, but which is now beginning to
attract attention, to the great benefit of the country and of
those who have entered upon this industry.

Since Prof. Nordenskjold wintered in Antarctic waters,
Captain Larsen has been able to report a source of great
wealth, which can be easily and profitably exploited, in the
fishing of these waters ; and upon his arrival in Buenos
Ayres he put himself in communication with a group of
Argentine capitalists, who decided to form a limited company \'k
by the name of La Pesca, with a capital of £32,000. : ]



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