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Consular reports, Issues 160-163 online

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766 EXTENSION OF MARKETS FOR AMERICAN FLOUR.

be expected; but what is to the point, and which is of vital importance, is
how to maintain and preserve the present very extensive trade against the
constant, earnest, and united efforts of all other wheat-growing countries.
These countries are abetted by the Irish millers and capitalists, whose ener-
gies and natural ambition are devoted to the restoration of this lucrative
source of wealth and to supply work to many idle hands. American milleis
now have a firm grip on the trade. As experienced and astute men of busi-
ness, they ought to study and provide the best means of holding and tighten-
ing their grip.

JAMES B. TANEY,
Belfast, February d, j8g4, ConsuL



BRISTOL.



Of the total importation of breadstuffs into the United Kingdom during
the harvest year ending July 31, 1893, 31 per cent (8,300,000 sacks of 280
pounds) was in the form of flour. The percentages of the harvest years
i89i-'92, i89o-'9i, i889-'90, and i888-'89 were 28, 25, 28, and 25, re-
spectively. It will be apparent from these figures that there was a large in-
crease in the import of flour last year — an increase the more remarkable as
transportation rates were very low and there was consequently no special in-
ducement to bring the flour and leave the bran behind. The increase has
been entirely in the imports from the United States; and it is believed in
the trade here that a considerable proportion has been sent forward with the
certainty that the sale would not cover bare cost, freight, and charges. One
explanation of shipments made under these circumstances is that it pays an
American miller, whose output is in excess of local or domestic demands,
better to ship his surplus abroad at a nominal loss than to reduce output.

During the last two years nearly 70 per cent of the breadstuffs imported
into the United Kingdom came from the United States, while Russia, Ron-
mania, and the Mediterranean may be credited with 10 per cent and India
and the southern hemisphere with the remaining 20 per cent.

Seven-eighths of the flour imported into the United Kingdom during
the harvest year 1 892-' 93 was supplied by the United States.

As will be seen by the tables following, kindly prepared at my request
by Mr. Girdlestone, secretary and general manager of the Bristol docks,
nearly 60,000 tons of flour were imported into Bristol from the United
States during the year ending June 30, 1893. This vast quantity was all
marketed in those contiguous districts for which Bristol is the distributing
center, including the populous coal and iron districts of South Wales. In
the south and west of England and in South Wales American flour has prac-
tically no competitor other than the product of the home millers. The im-
port from Canada is inconsiderable, and only a nominal quantity of Hun-
garian flour comes into the district. To a certain extent, no doubt, the
conditions of surplusage, freights, etc., operate with equal force upon wheat
and flour. When there is a production largely in excess of domestic leqniie-

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EXTENSION OF MARKETS FOR AMERICAN FLOUR. 767

ments, there is a large export of the two; but it is nevertheless true to a
considerable extent that tlie shipment of flour means the opening up and
maintaining a permanent market for a manufactured product — a product
which will continue to be supplied, even after a diminished harvest shall
have materially lessened the exports of wheat. The United States may be
said, in the light of the statistics of the last few years, to have established a
firm and lasting market for flour in the United Kingdom.

It should, however, be carefully noted by millers and shippers that a con-
siderable change, during the past two years of low prices and oversupplies,
has taken place in the taste of consumers. It has been the practice, until
the last two years, for our millers to ship abroad their low-grade flours, such
as "Spring Second Bakers*' and ** Winter Households,'* marketing their
higher grades at home. Lately, however, they have been sending high-grade
flours in such quantities as to weigh down the price to unprecedentedly low
figures. The result is, so far as Bristol and the west of England are con-
cerned, that the public taste has been educated up to a far higher grade of
flour than it has been accustomed to in the past. The people generally have
had little or no advantage in the price of the loaf (except in very poor dis-
tricts). The quartern (4-pound) loaf sells to-day for 10 or 12 cents, just as
it did five and ten years ago; but in quality it is quite a different thing.
The dark, close, heavy, loggy loaf is a thing of the past. The loaf is now
made for the average consumer from a straight or a low patent flour. Five
years ago ordinary bakers* flour would have been used. Two years ago the
price of this flour was J7.75 per sack of 280 pounds. Now, with the drop
in the market and the different conditions in the public taste, it sells with
difficulty at I4.12. If the conditions of production and distribution alter
in the future, so that our millers have no longer such great surplusages of
high-grade flours, they will no doubt recur to the original — I may almost
say normal — practice of sending seconds to Bristol. They will find it un-
salable at any price ; the public will not have it.

It is the great exception for people here to bake at home. Even the
villages and farmhouses depend upon the baker*s cart. Ovens in houses are
not adapted to baking, and the custom of a most conservative people is
against it. The baker, having now supplied for some time a much more in-
viting loaf than was the practice in the past, is bound to maintain the quality.
The American miller has long been familiar with the fact that the west of
England would take a very low grade of flour, and I draw his special and
particular attention to the changed conditions now obtaining.

The bulk of the flour imported comes in 140-pound sacks; a small quan-
tity comes in 280-pound sacks. The barrel has gone quite out of favor.

At the present moment the advantage of price in favor of American flour
over a similar grade of English is about 60 cents in 280 pounds. It will be
wondered why, under these circumstances, English millers can market their
output at all. The reason lies in the conditions under which the trade is
carried on. The bakers throughout the west of England are, as a rule, small.



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768



EXTENSION OF MARKETS FOR AMERICAN FLOUR.



with limited output and small capital, and they need credit and the
cheap delivery of small quantities. They are not in a position, many of
them, even to avail themselves of the reduced 2 and 4 ton railway rates;
and they find it necessary to deal with local millers, who supply them in
small quantities as desired, delivered free and on credit. Representatives
of these mills call upon them regularly for orders and to collect accounts.
Hence the necessity and convenience of continuing to deal with English
millers. In the north, and particularly in Scotland and Glasgow, the bakers
are more concentrated and have a large capital and a large output. They are
therefore in a position to avail themselves of the cheapest market, and the
result is apparent in an increased proportionate consumption of American
flour.

No doubt throughout the whole country millers find it to their advantage
to purchase American flour to mix with their own product, thus cheapening
cost of production.

The old-time method of grading in this district was derived from the
color of the string that tied the sack. ** Plain-tie** still continues as a trade
term, though such a grade would now as often be called "Country" or
**Fine.'* "Blue-tie** and "Red-tie** are terms seldom met with, and
"Patent** or "Superfine** have superseded them.

The import trade at Bristol and Gloucester is conducted through brokers
and importers. The bulk of the flour comes C. I. F., and the broker sells
to the importer and gets his commission. A certain percentage — perhaps
10 per cent — comes on consignment. I have not been able to find a single
instance in which large consumers, such as public institutions, hotels, large
millers, or large bakers, have established a direct and regular trade with the
American exporter. I do not see any reason why large American millers
properly represented in this country should not tender for consumers who
buy by contract, and thus establish a regular trade directly with the consumer.

There are regular lines of steamers plying between New York and Bristol,
and chartered steamers are constantly entering the port from Baltimore,
Philadelphia, and other ports. The grain trade is a very important trade in
Bristol, and every possible facility is freely accorded it by municipal and
dock authorities.

Imports of flour into Bristol (years ending June jo).



From—


1891.


1
189a. 1893.


United States :

New York


ToHt.

29*990
4,071
«,4«9


Tons.
•32,768
5.979
338

3,403
x,»5o


T^s,
40,6m
8.60s


Baltimore


Portland


Philadelphia




Tacoma




'




35,480

1,372

36,85a


r. ....,..»..


Total


43,728
2,330

46,158


59.308
2.406

6i,7»4


Canada (Montreal)


Grand total





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EXTENSION OF MARKETS FOR AMERICAN FLOUR. 769

Imports of wheat at Bristol {years ending June ^o).



From—


189..


x89a.


X893.


Russian and other European ports^


Cwts.
1,481,463


Cwts.
609.718


Cwts.
614,448




United States :

Astoria


48,790
28.498
ai,424
829,321


48,42a
51,426


Boston


74,430

129. oax

2,549,658

47,101
316,380

71,808


Baltimore. .M


New York


"75,533

X, 246,991

544,4x0

186,360


Philadelphia


Portland ;


192,948
40,164
44,520

221,393


San Francisco. ..."


SeatUe





Tacoma......


>5,S7«


204.89a




Total from United Slates „


1,427,058


3,203,769


2,558,034


South America :

Buenos Ayres.




35,600




Iji Plataw..^^..r.i .4,w4**^....*» ^^ 4 . *




a6.6ao

460

118.534








Talcahiiano.


4o,7>4
153,003


286,42a
37,448


Rosario „


174, ao6






Total from South America....


193, 7« 7


359.470


483,730




Canada (Montreal)


162, aoa
"3»744


73»,4ix


660,588
94,950


Australia and New Zealand...


1n<i;? ,..,,. ..,..


73,997






.........


Grand totaL


3>388,i84


4.979,365


4,340,750





LORIN A. LATHROP,

ConsuL



Bristol, March i, 1894.



LEEDS.

STANDARD OF LIVING.

TTie Standard of living is rather high, the laboring classes being composed
very largely of miners and mechanics, who get good rates of wages ; and, as
flour is ao cheap now, only the better qualities are used. American flour is
not used here for domestic purposes. There is no objection, I think, to the
use of American flour of the better grades ; but, as stated below, none is
brought here, the wholesale flour business being in the hands of millers, who
naturally push the use of their own flour.

QUALITY OF FLOUR USED.

A high grade of flour is used, but only a low grade of American flour
comes here. It is used for mixing food for cattle ; it is not used in this
district for domestic purposes at all.



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770



EXTENSION OF MARKETS FOR AMERICAN FLOUR,



Imports of flour and wheat.

Statistics regarding the import of American flour into this district are
not available.

American wheat is very largely imported into the district, but no definite
information can be obtained as to the amount. American spring wheat is
largely used to mix with California and India wheat, to give the floiu: gluten
or "rising*' power.

The quantity of flour imported from other countries is almost nil. Some
Hungarian is imported, but in a very small proportion.

Wheat comes from California, Australia, and India very largely. About
three parts of foreign to one of English are used in this district.

TRADE OUTLOOK.

I do not think there is a very good prospect for the enlargement of the
trade here in American flour. There are large mills owned by wealthy per-
sons and companies who control the flour trade, supplying all the retail dealers
and bakers. There are no wholesale flour dealers in Leeds.

NORFLEET HARRIS,

OmsuL
Leeds, March 6, i8p4.



LIVERPOOL.



STANDARD OF LIVING.



The Standard of living in the district of Liverpool is fully up to the aver-
age of the United Kingdom — about 5j^ bushels of wheat per head.
The better qualities of flour are most used.



IMPORTS OF wheat AND FLOUR.



The quantities of American wheat and wheat flour imported into .this dis-
trict during the years ending June 30, 1891, 1892, and 1893, were as follows,
in cwts. of 1 1 2 pounds each :



From—


1891.


189a.


1893.


Atlantic Dorts


WAeai.


Cwts.
2,367,006
3,399.3«S


Cwts.
8,ai3,3a8
X, 36a, 33a


Cwts.
K>,507,05«
a,a4«.754


Pacific ports -






Total


5,766,331


9,575,760


xa, 749, 805




Wkeatjlour.


Atlantic ports


a, 190,394
369,486


3, "4.978
"8,556


3,309, «5S
X77,4»


Pacific ports ,






Total


a, 559, 880


3,a43,534


3,486,565





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EXTENSION OF MARKETS FOR AMERICAN FLOUR.



771



Qtiantities of wheat flour imported from other countries.



Countries.



Runia (southern)^ »

GcraM«7~

Holland

Belgium

France.

Spain..-

Gibralur »

luly

Austrian territories

Turkey :

European ^ ,

Asiatic

Egypt —

Bombay

Canada

Newfoundland

ChUe „

BnirU..»

Argentine Republic

Total from other countries^..
Total from the United States



Grand total-,



1891.



134
24,709



95a



395
540, 9»9



«»758

3,800

217,950

9a

9,33a

26,376

7,308



833,235
a. 559, 880



1893.



CW*.



13,600



408
6



6,010
331,788

350



667

40

190,396



39,620



a, 737



565,924
3,343,534



3.809,458



1893.



Cwtt.



5,991

180

X.558

75



1,165

1,940

367,542



2,476
730

3
403,911

734
",936



5,609



802,839
3,486.565



4,289,404



Quantities of wheat imported from other countries.



Countries.



Russia fsouthem)- »

Germany

Belgium , ,

France

Italy

Austrian territories

Malu..-

Roumania

Turkey:

European

Asiatic

Cyprus-

Egypt

Morocco.-

India:

Bombay ^

Bengal ^

New Zealand.

Canada

Mexico- M

Colombia

Chile-

Brazil...

Uruguay »m»

Argentine Republic

Total from other countries..
Total from the United Sutes



Grand totals...



Cwis.
2,035,666



400
,379



967,033

30,785

157,428

80

433,361

X,IOO

4,307,9*4

125,716



573, «»6



8,000
162,488



6,000
'.775,857



'0,556, 338
5. 766,33*



16,333,563



1893.



Cwts.

734, ats



20,938



890



10,659
44, 5M



563,884



5,606,005
503,593



«. '98,989
6,051



339,064
S8o



817,868



9,848,450
9,575,760



«9.4a4,axo



x893-



Cwts.
49«,507



9,953
x,ooo



5,7»6
35,418



1,000

6,000

•,532,333

215,507

x6,44S

«, 603, 347



697.970



«,39«.468



7,007.454
13,749,805



«9. 757, 259



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"J"]! EXTENSION OF MARKETS FOR AMERICAN FLOUR.

EXCHANGE AND SHIPPING FACILITIES.

With regard to the fkcilities for monetary exchange, the English banks
send out representatives to the United States for the purpose of buying ex-
change, and some London provincial and Scotch banks have resident agents
there for that purpose.

It is scarcely necessary to say anything about shipping between the United
States and this port. In regard to through bills of lading, the trade says
they should be signed jointly and severally by the carriers and not, as at
present, jointly but not severally. The result when damage occurs under the
present form of bill of lading is that the consignees can not, unless in ex-
ceptional cases, fix the liability on a particular carrier; but if the form of
the bill of lading was altered as suggested, this evil would be remedied.

OBSTACLES TO TRADE.

Liverpool is considered an expensive port for cargo, the port and railway
charges discriminating against it; for example, the railway freight on a ton
of merchandise from here to Birmingham is I2.73, whereas from Bristol to
Birmingham — about the same distance — it is only $2.06. This can only be
righted by competition. Otherwise there are few obstacles to the extension
of trade beyond the natural laws of competition with home-made flour. Dis-
tance, with consequent apparently insurmountable delays in transit, is a less
serious hindrance than, as is claimed by English millers, the growing tend-
ency of American millers to lengthen their patents, viz, extend the number
of their processes under patent, and thereby increase their percentage, and
consequently decrease the quality, and so degrade their whole output English
millers, on the other hand, claim to have steadily aimed at improvement in
all grades, and they now assert their product to be as much superior as
formerly it was inferior to that of their great rivals in the United States. It is
said by the Miller's Association in Liverpool that local mills now command
at least 80 per cent of the trade, against 25 per cent four years ago.* I have
been unable to obtain any exact data to verify this, and give it herein as the
opinion of local dealers. Excellence and regularity in quality are the in-
dispensable adjuncts of a prosperous trade in any flour. In these respects
the trade here claim that American flour has of late years deteriorated, and
that the bakers' grades are quite too low for general consumption. I am
not prepared to concede this, not being an expert in its manufacture; bujt
American millers should know concerning the truth or falsity of this state-
ment, and, should American flour have deteriorated in any way, the ingenuity
and enterprise of the millers of the United States will soon bring it to a
higher standard of excellence than it has ever had, I have no doubt. I sub-
mit herein the statements of the English dealers, given above, to stimulate
oyr dealers to higher perfection in the manufacture of flour, without indors-
ing them as true myself.

* The official figures of the imports of American flour into Liverpool, as given by our consul in the pre*
ceding pan of thb report is answer enough to this assertion. In 1891 the imports of America^ flour ^mountfd
*P ?»559»88o ciyts. and in 189^ to IA^,^^1 cwts., ap increase of over 36 per cenf.



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EXTENSION OF MARKETS FOR AMERICAN FLOUR. 773

TRADE OUTLOOK.

With reference to the prospects for doing a more extensive business, that
entirely depends on the crops in the United States and whether the millers
can compete with their competitors in other countries. The system of con-
signments should be discouraged, and millers new at the business should be
warned to hold their stocks until sales are effected, and not be led by un-
scrupulous travelers into consigning them in expectation of profitable sales.
The system here is considered pernicious to the trade generally.

JAMES E. NEAL,

Consul,

Liverpool, February 12, iSg^^



MANCHESTER.

STANDARD OF LIVING.



The Standard of living in the Manchester district is higher than that of
most places in England. American flour, I am informed, is not generally
liked, being considered too dry in the loaf. Bakers and their customers
prefer local millers' flour mixed with Hungarian, the bread made from which
will retain its moisture longer than that made from American flour.

QUALITY OF FLOUR USED.

About equal quantities of the local grades known as "Patent*' and
"XX'* are used in this district to produce the two qualities of bread which
are in request. The first-mentioned flour is usually about the same price in
Manchester ^ American winter patents, and the "XX" lJ.09 to %\,%\ per
280 pounds lower,

EXCHANGE AND SHIPPING FACILITIES,

The facilities for monetary exchange at this port are equal to those of
any provincial city in the Kingdom.

Since the ist of January the Manchester Ship Canal has been open for
traffic, in addition to the four principal railways centering at this port. The
charge for tolls and wharfage on flour from Eastham (the mouth of the canal)
to the Manchester docks is 73 cents per ton, to which must be added 2 cents
per ton per mile for local delivery.

Prior to the opening of the Manchester Ship Canal all flour had to be
trqinsshipped at Liverpool and sent on to Manchester by rail or the Bridge-
water Canal barges. There are thus far no direct stean^ers from the United
States using the Manchester Ship C*nal, with the exception of one or two
with cotton (and a small quantity of grain) from Galveston and New Orleans,
which, of course, are not available for the flour trade. One or two small
sbipm.ents of American grain h^ve been received here^ but no flour a3 yef.



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774 EXTENSION OF MARKETS FOR AMERICAN FLOUR.

As Manchester was not created .a port for customs purposes until January
I, 1894, there are no statistics available as to the importation of American
flour and wheat into this district during the years 1891, 1892, and 1893.

OBSTACLES TO TRADE.

The chief obstacle in the way of the extension of trade in American flour
here is, I am told, the unsuitable character of the article itself. Kansas
flours have been somewhat better taken, as they possess good flavor and the
bread from them retains its moisture, but of late the quality has been irreg-
ular and the price too high.

TRADE OUTLOOK.

Mr. J. Bolton, of the firm of Johnson & Bolton, the principal flour mer-
chants in this city doing a direct business with the United States, to whom
I am indebted for the greater part of the information contained in this re-
port, says;

If millers will make an article possessing a good flavor, and the bread from which will
retain its moisture, taking especial care to keep the quality regular, and if along with thb
there can be arranged a quick transit service by direct steamers via canal, there is every prob-
ability of an increased sale of American flour. It would be necessary to guard against such
delays as are common at present in the shipments to Liverpool, so that buyers might depend
upon receiving their goods within a reasonable time after shipment from the mill.

To this I would add that Manchester is the center of the largest and
most populous industrial area in Europe, numbering upwards of 7,000,000
people. This great working community includes one hundred and fifty-one
towns, each of which is engaged in skilled labor. Eleven of these towns
have each a population exceeding 100,000, and one hundred of them have
each more than 10,000 inhabitants.

WILLIAM F. GRINNELL,

Consul*
Manchester, March j", jSg^.



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INDEX.



Vol. XLIV-Nos. 160, 161, 162, and 163.



Agriculture :

Russian ministry, 339.

Salerno, 433.

Sweden, 704.

Tahiti, 268.

United Kingdom, 382.
Agriculture and labor in French Switzerland,

417.
Alsace (Lower) petroleum, 392.
American agents, need of, in Asia, 489.
American bacon, duty in Netherlands, 708.
American-Bagdad trade, 301.
American breadstuflfs and the Russo-Gennan

cgmmerdal treaty, 675.
American carpets in England, 290.
American petroleum in India, 458.
American products in Singapore, 340.
American trade :

Ecuador, 286.

Mexico, 489.

Pemambuco, 296.

Siam, 344.

Tabid, 268.
American trotting horses, importation of, into

Austria- Hungary, 693.
Aniline dyes in Germany, 353.
Anlipyrine in Germany, 354.
Argentine Republic:

Exports, 656, 672.

Imports, 65 ), 672.

Imports from Belgium, 65S.

Imports from France, 658.

Imports from Germany, 657.

Imports from Great Briiain, 660.

Imports from United States, 661.
Argentine trade (i892-'93), 655.
Art industries in United States, 295.
Asia, need of American agents, 489.
Australasian coal, price of, 699.
Australia, Newcastle (N. S. W.), exports
(1893)* 707.

No. 163 II.



Austria:

Exports and imports (1893), ^'*

Furniture and carriage leather, 390.

Sugar export (1893), 693.

Vienna, mail transmission, 390.
Austria* Hungary :

Exports to United States (1893), 463.

Importation of American trotting horses,

693-
Imports and exports, 280.
Markets for American flour, 495.
Mining, 693.
Railroad traffic, 693.
Specie f>ayment (1893), 690.
Trade (1893), 690.
Universal suffrage, 694.

Bacon, American, duty in Netherlands,

708.

Bagdad-American trade, 301.
Baling, objectionable (cotton), 386.
Banks, Norwegian savings, 315.



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