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Consular reports, Issues 188-191 online

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of the hop market was greatly influenced by the large stock of hops from
last year, which amounted to 3,250,080 pounds. Of the new crop, about
1,805,600 pounds were sold at from 3 to 10 rubles per pood (4.3 cents to 14.3
cents per pound), mainly abroad. It is expected that the lands devoted to
hop culture in Volyn will greatly diminish in area on account of the poor
market.

The large hop growers of Russia have determined to organize a more
rational culture and more regular trade, thinking that these will do away
with speculation. It is reported that a syndicate of the Volyn hop growers
will be organized in the near future.

JOHN KAREL,
Consul' General,

St. Petersburg, December 2, iSgs-



RUSSIAN BEET SUGAR.

According to information furnished by the Russian sugar manufacturers,
on November i, 1895, the area under beets amounted to 849,910 acres,
which is 29,855 acres, or 3.6 per cent, more than in 1894. From this year's
area 6,009,955 tons of beets are expected, which would be 105,345 tons, or
1.8 per cent, more than in 1894, in which year the yield amounted to
5>903>6o4 tons. The quantity of sugar in the campaign of 1895-96 is esti-
mated at 717,558 tons, which would be an increase of 115,607 tons, or 19.2
per cent, over the last campaign, when the production amounted to 601,923



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RUSSIAN BEET SUGAR.



285



tons. However, the above figures state only the possible production, being
based on the following conclusions : That the whole expected crop of beets
will be accepted by the sugar factories, that the percentage of sugar con-
tained in the beets will be the same as up to November i, 1895, ^^^ ^^^^ ^^^
whole quantity of sugar obtained will be manufactured into white crystal
sugar during the present campaign. It can hardly be expected that all this
will be realized, for the meteorological conditions must be taken into
consideration, and for these no one can answer in advance. Then, on ac-
count of the present state of the sugar market, it is improbable that the
greater quantity of the sugar will be refined, but rather left in the raw state
until the next campaign. This theory seems to be supported by the data of
last year, when, on November i, 1894, the sugar factories expected to pro-
duce 601,923 tons of sugar from 5,903,604 tons of beets, but in reality
5,958,982 tons of beets were worked and only 586,236 tons of sugar were
produced, which goes to show that 55,378 tons more of beets were worked
than was expected, yet 15,687 tons less of sugar were produced than was
figured for. The bureau of the sugar manufacturers' representatives pub-
lishes the following statistics concerning the present year's expected crop of
beets and the yield of sugar therefrom in the different governments of the
Empire:



Total quan-
tity of sugar

Governments. area under ]::^r:^: ""XTam!"

paign of
1895-96.



Kiev ,

Volyn ,

Podolia

Bessarabia..

Kherson ,

Kursk

Poltava

Charkov. ..,
Voronezh....

Orel.

Samara

Tambov......

Tula„

Chernigov..,

Warsaw

Kalish

Kelets

Lomzha

Lublin...

Petrokovsk^

Plotsk

Radpm ,

Scdletsk

Total.





Total quan-
tity of beets


Total


expected,


area under
beets.


together
with the




quantity ac-
cepted by
the factories.






Acres.


Poutuis.


226,254


3,379,685


48,67a


656,010


195,790


2,814,352


2,227


36,112


9."5


130,003


86,186


1,004,816


7,oao


86,596


105,046


», 587,050


14,909


136,142


6,242


42, 720


6,369


99,849


,4,863


160,228


3,499


37,339


25,677


297, 165


50,360


741,776


7,597


. 143,039


6,142


»07,794


1,957


42,251


15.584


250,111


3,237


40,626


6,110


108,588


4,584


79,446


2,470


36,112


849,910


12,017,810



Pounds.
4*3,265
82,552
320,638

3,791

M,444

118,483

10,797

»9«,393

14,19a

5,272

7,944
»7.478

2,888
31,345
99, '63
19,500
1 1 , 230

5,164
29,034

5,416
18,019

9,316

3,791

i,435,"5



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286 CATTLE PLAGUE IN EUROPEAN RUSSIA.

The price of sugar abroad has risen considerably lately, and that is prob-
ably the reason why the demand for Russian sugar for export at Kiev market
increased.

Russia exported from September i to November 24, 1895, i9>26o tons
of sugar.

JOHN KAREL,
Consul- General.
St. Petersburg, December 14^ ^^95-



CATTLE PLAGUE IN EUROPEAN RUSSIA.

An elaborate official report has been published on the results of the
measures adopted against the spreading of the cattle plague in European
Russia during the last twenty-five years.

The plague, from which thousands of cattle perish yearly, is the terror of
a Russian landowner, whose proi:)erty, often consisting only of a few head,
is annihilated by it. The Government has fought against this disease with
every possible means. In 1876, the Minister of the Interior came to the
conclusion that quarantine and the strictest isolation of infected cattle were
not sufficiently radical measures for the destruction of the evil ; therefore, a
number of new regulations were adopted and published, according to which
every head of cattle infected with the plague should be immediately killed
and burned. This law, however, was put in force only in Russian Poland,
and after the lapse of five years, a decrease in the spread of the disease
was observed. From 1875 to 1879, i^ forty governments, 180,000 head of
cattle were destroyed by the plague, and from 1880 to 1884 it raged to
such an extent that in forty-two governments 222,000 head per year were
destroyed, so that the Minister of the Interior found it necessary to enforce
the regulations in all the forty- two governments, and, from 1885, all over the
Empire. From that year, the plague began to decrease; it appeared only
in twenty-eight governments, where the annual average loss of cattle was
141,000 head, valued at J 1,45 2,300. A still greater decrease was observed
during the ^v^ years from 1890 to 1895 ^ *'^ ^^ci^ the disease was disappearing
little by little, except in 1891 and 1892 — the bad harvest years — when it
again increased and invaded the Don region, spreading over the neighboring
governments, where it disappeared only in 1894.

During the last five years, the loss caused by the cattle plague in the
seven infected governments amounted, on an average, to 18,820 head, valued
at $193,846, per year. Thus, the loss of cattle, from 1887 to 1895, was
253,000 head, worth J2, 605, 900. But if the plague had continued to rage
at its former intensity, the loss in European Russia would have amounted
to 1,620,000 head, valued at J 16,686,000, so that, on account of the strict
measures enforced by the Government, 1,367,000 head of cattle, worth
Ji4,o8o,ioo, were saved to the country. Besides, the Government has paid
to the owners of cattle killed the sum of $1,442,000 as indemnity.



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DECREASE OF WOOL PRODUCTION IN AUSTRALASIA.



287



Many objections were raised against the killing and burning of the in-
fected animals, it l>eing claimed that the plague would not cease and that
the practice would lead only to ruin of the stock. That such fears were
groundless is proved by the official report, which shows what great benefit
the measures have secured to the country. From the experience in this
country, the only effective measure against the cattle plague is the killing
and burning of the infected animals and strict observance of the regulations.

JOHN KAREL,
Consul- General,

St. Petersburg, April 16 , i8g6.



AUSTRALASIA: WOOL INDUSTRY-FISCAL CHANGES-IN-
DUSTRIES AND TRADE OF NEWCASTLE, ETC.

DECREASE OF WOOL PRODUCTION.

For several months, it has been understood in Australian wool circles
that the present clip of wool would show a substantial, if not very large,
decrease compared with the previous clip. This decrease is the result of
two causes. One is the disastrous drought in so many districts, which has
just ceased. It prevailed for about twelve months throughout the greater
l)art of New South Wales and through southern Queensland with extraordi-
nary severity, and not only caused heavy losses of stock prior to shearing,
but greatly impoverished the sheep which lived to be shorn and reduced
the quantity of wool cut from them. How disastrous the drought has been
will be seen from the fact that the stock statistics, just published, show that
on December 31, 1895, the number of sheep in the colony of New South
Wales was only 47,4331332, the decrease for the year amounting to 9,500,000.
How very serious this falling off is may be understood from the following
statement, showing the number of sheep at the close of each of the last ten
years:



Year.



Number,



II



1882 ' 36,114,814

1883 ' 37,9»5,5>"

1884 31,660,321

1885 37,820,906

1S8C 39» ^69.304



Year. I Numljcr.

1889 ' 50,106,768

»%«J I 55,986,431



1887..



46,965,152
46,503.4<''9



1S91..
iS^a..,
1893..
1894..
i8.;5..



61,831,416
58,080, 114
56,980,688
56,977,270
47/433.332



It will be seen that the falling off in 1895 of 9,500,000 is far beyond all
precedent. The decrease during the drought of 1892 was less than 4,000,000,
and even the great drought of 1884 only left New South Wales with 6,250,000
fewer sheep at the end of the year than at the beginning. True, all these
sheep did not die nor were they slaughtered before the last shearing, but



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288



DECREASE OF WOOL PRODUCTION IN AUSTRALASIA.



sufficient of them must have died before then to bring about a very large
decrease in the 1895 ^^^P-

The other cause of the decrease is the fact that the clip of 1894 was un-
duly augmented by the great shearing strike of that year, which, by delaying
shearing, gave the clips of many stations thirteen months' growth instead
of twelve. And, as in 1895, ™^^^ stations returned to their normal dates of
shearing, many of them had in 1895 ^^^Y ^^ eleven months' clip, against a
thirteen months' clip in 1894. Both circumstances combined naturally
produced a great falling off in the 1895 clip, compared with that of 1894.

But although the wool buyers who visited Australia this season have been
brought into sufficiently close contact with the growers to believe that a
decrease of some kind is an absolute certainty, yet a good deal of incredu-
lity may still exist among some of the large wool consumers of Europe and
America.

That there is some justification for this attitude of incredulity will be
recognized when it is mentioned that, although many big decreases in the
Australian clip have been foretold out here, there have been during the last
twenty- three years only two years (1878 and 1884) in which the clip has ac-
tually shown a decrease compared with its predecessor, and even in these years
of disastrous droughts, the decreases were small. And in these twenty-
three years, the Australasian clip has increased from 554,000 bales in 1872
to about 1,970,000 bales in 1894. This is what may be termed the historical
argument against a decrease, and the force of it is so great that consumers
in Europe may perhaps be excused for not believing in the present cry of a
decrease, with its necessary tendency toward higher prices, without some
substantial evidence to support it.

And this attitude of incredulity receives some support from the following
latest shipping figures, which show that the combined exports from the four
leading wool-growing colonies on the continent of Australia only display a
decrease of 31,000 bales compared with those for the corresponding period
of 1894-95.

Austraiasian wool exports from July i to dates given.



Colony.


1895-96.


1894-95.


Increase.


Decrease.


Victoria, to February ix

New South Wales, to February 7.„


Bales.

4«7»655
565,372
98,372
159, «o8
173,834

',413,34'


Bales.
400,557
597,455
118,161

»55,7a9
232,167

1,504,069


Bales.
17,098


Boies.


3»,o83
19,789


Queensland, to January 97

South Australia, to January 31




3,379


New Zealand, to January 31


59,333




ao,477


Total

Less increase


1x1,205
20,477








-


Net decrease






90,728






1



This decrease is made up by a decrease of 59,000 bales from New Zea-
land and of only 31,000 bales from the four leading wool-growing colonies of
Australia.



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DECREASE OF WOOL PRODUCTION IN AUSTRALASIA. 289

There is just one other point to refer to. It may seem rather premature
to discuss the prospects for the 1896 clip, when the quantity of the 1895
yield is not yet finally settled. But the unexpectedly very heavy losses in
New South Wales sheep which the above figures reveal can not fail to direct
the attention to the possibility of a further decrease of the 1896 clip, conit
pared with even the attenuated clip of 1895. Going back for a comparison
to the end of the previous drought, we find that New South Wales has now
10,500,000 sheep less than she had at the end of 1892. The year 1893 ^^
a very good one, and yet the 58,080,114 sheep in existence at the beginning
of 1893 ^'^^y S^^^ ^ c^^P ^^ 964,000 bales. At the same rate, the 47,433,332
sheep in existence at the beginning of 1896 would only give a clip of 787,393
bales. This compares with the 1894 clip of 1,026,000 bales, and, allowing
for the decrease, gives a clip of 861,000 bales in 1895. ^^^^^ would mean
that the New South Wales clip of 1896 may be 239,000 bales less than the
clip of 1894.

One method of assisting at the arrival of a conclusion on the subject is by
making a comparison of the clips grown upon different stations during the
two years in question.

With this object, returns have been obtained from the leading wool
houses and a number of wool growers in the four colonies (New South Wales,
Queensland, Victoria, and South Australia), showing the number of bales of
wool grown on a very large number of stations in 1894 and also the bales
grown on the same stations in 1895. These stations cut 767,000 bales in
1894 out of a total of about 1,563,000 grown in the four colonies named.
Calculating what percentage the increases or decreases in 1895 bear to the
clips of 1894, such percentages have been applied to the total quantity of
wool estimated to have been grown in each colony during 1894, and the
result has been taken as the basis of the estimate of the 1895 ^^^P ^^ ^^^^
colony. This method of calculation brings out for Victoria, New South
Wales, South Australia, and Queensland a total net decrease of 155,000 bales.

For New Zealand, information has been obtained from a very reliable
source, estimating the decrease from that colony at from 30,000 to 40,000
bales. This leaves only Tasmania and Western Australia, from neither of
which colonies is any material increase or decrease expected.

Taking the mean of the New Zealand estimate at 35,000 bales, gives for
the whole seven Australasian colonies a total apparent decrease of 190,000
bales.

It is not, of course, contended that the system here adopted can be safely
applied without some qualification, nor that, even with these qualifications,
it could, by itself, give a close estimate of the decrease.

In estimating the unknown from the facts that are known, it is desirable
to have, if possible, more than one independent method of arriving at the
estimate and to compare the results; and, in this case, there have been re-
ceived some important figures from the customs department of New South
Wales, the colony from which the main decrease is expected. These figures
No. 189 9.



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290 DECREASE OF WOOL PRODUCTION IN AUSTRALASIA.

show pretty clearly that the decrease from that colony is not likely to be very
much under 150,000 bales.

The clip of New South Wales for 1894 amounted to about 1,026,000
bales. The bulk of it, say 620,000 bales, was shipped from Sydney and
about 58,000 bales from Newcastle direct to Europe and America. About
42,000 bales were shipped from these two ports to Victoria, the total ship-
ments from New South Wales of its own wool thus amounting to about 720,-
000 bales. In addition to this, about 247,000 bales were exported border-
wise to Victoria and ultimately shipped from Melbourne or Geelong, about
57,000 bales were exported from South Australia, and about 2,000 bales from
Queensland. It is clear, therefore, that if the exports can be compared
borderwise for the two seasons, and also the exports by sea, it should be
possible even now to form some idea of what the decrease is likely to be;
and, by comparing the arrivals at Sydney and Newcastle, it should be possi-
ble to get still nearer the result.

The following information from the customs department of New South
Wales shows the exports borderwise from July 31 to January 31 for the two
seasons :



Exports.



To Victoria from-

Albury

Cobram

Corowa

Euston

Howlong

Moama

Mulwala

Swan Hill

Tocumwal ....
Wcntworih....



Total

Net decrease..



To South Australia from —

Wcntworih

Broken Hill and Silvcrton..



Total

Net decrease..



To Queensland from —
Bogabilla



Net decrease in borderwise exports..



1894-95.

Bales.

3J.590

1,346

»3.43a

2,980

ao6

102,814

7,558

53, "o

2,046

",743

237,825



36,477
15,705



1895-96.



Bales.

29,847

2,904

15.586

2,174

278

75,964
6,949
40,655

4,709
4,080



183,146



Increase.



Bales.



1,558
2,154



2,663
6,447



18,261
20,834



52,182 I 39,095



1,048



5,»29
5,»29



Decrease.



Bales.
>,743



806



26,850

609

>2,455



18,663
61, ia6

54.679
i8,2i6



i8,2i6
13,087



544
68,310



And, in addition to this falling off of 68,000 bales in the exports border-
wise, there appears to be a falling off in the arrivals at Sydney, Newcastle,
;and Morpeth of 66,000 bales.

This gives a net decrease in arrivals of 134,000 bales. From this, how-
ever, may be deducted about 6,000 bales for the additional quantity detained
on the Dijirling on January 31 as compared with last year, though this will



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DECREASE OF WOOL PRODUCTION IN AUSTRALASIA.



291



probably be counteracted by a small additional quantity of Queensland wool
imported borderwise and included in the Sydney and Newcastle arrivals.

These figures, therefore, relating to the arrivals at the various New South
Wales points of export strongly tend to confirm the estimate arrived at by a
totally different method. Under the circumstances, it seems difficult to put
the Australian decrease at much less than from 130,000 to 150,000 bales;
this is in addition to the New Zealand decrease, estimated at from 30,000
to 40,000 bales more.

As regards the probable effect of this large shortage upon prices, it is to
be borne in mind, on the one hand, that it has already been freely discounted
in some quarters, especially by those manufacturers who, on the strength of
it, have bought more freely in Australia than they would otherwise have done.
But, on the other hand, it is doubtful if it has yet come home to the bulk of
the consumers, especially in Yorkshire, who were rather reluctant to operate
in merino wools at the high prices ruling in Australia during the season, for
no actual falling off has yet taken place in the supplies marketed.

The following table shows the quantity sold in the three colonies up to
date and the arrivals for the November and January sales :



Quantity sold in-



Victoria (October i to Janunry 31)

Sydney (July i to January 31)

Adelaide (to January 31)

London arrivals :

For November- December sales*..

For January salesf^



Total

Net increase of supplies to date..



1895-96.


1894-95.


Increase.


Balet.


Bales,


Bales.


307,307
374, »38


315,797
354,4»6




19,722


80,116


62,871


17,245


155,370


128,087


27,283


250,000


238,706


11,294


1,166,931


1,099,877


76,544
68,054









Decrease.



Bales.



8,490



* Including some old clip in each year.



t Including Cape arrivals each year.



These figures make the case for short supplies much stronger. The point
is, that the decrease in the present Australasian clip may amount to 160,000
or 180,000 bales. But this decrease has not yet been felt by consumers
(although it may be believed in), because, up to now, there has not been
any falling off in the supplies coming on the market. Indeed, the supplies
show an actual increase of 68,000 bales; so that those consumers who have
postponed their purchases and depend upon making them at the next four
series of London sales — March, May, July, and September — will have to
face a deficiency in these four series of from 200,000 to 250,000 bales com-
pared with last year.

DANIEL W. MARATTA,

Consul' General,
Melbourne, February 75, i8g6.



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292 NEW SOUTH WALES WOOL FOR 1 895.



NEW SOUTH WALES WOOL FOR 1895.

The export of wool from Australia and Tasmania for the year 1895 was
i>579>225 bales, as against 1,522,823 bales during the previous year. This
increased export does not mean an increased production, as there was an
unusual proportion of the former year's clip carried over and shipped in 1895.
As a fact, the many vicissitudes through which all pastoral industries in
Australia have passed during the last few years, leaves the wool grower little
better off for 1896, though prices have advanced 2 cents per pound.

There will be a considerable falling off in the exix)rts in the early months
of 1896 as compared with the same months of last year, as on January i, 1895,
there were large lots held back by the wool growers, while on January i of
this year the stations were practically clear.

This falling off in ex[)orts will be noticeable throughout the whole of 1896,
and well-informed persons estimate the real shortage in the clip of 1895 at
fully 16 per cent. The low price of wool, with local droughts and indica-
tions of a more extensive one in 1894 and the first part of 1895, ^^^ ^^ ^^
almost wholesale reduction in the number of sheep on the stations. During
1895, over 3,500,000 sheep were boiled down in New South Wales alone
and fully 2,000,000 in the other Australian colonies.

As the number of sheep has been somewhat reduced and as much of the
stock is rather thin, owing to poor pastures, unless the season should be un-
usually bad, there will be little boiling down done this year, and it is believed
that the preserving and freezing works will handle fully 1,500,000 fewer sheep
in 1896 than in 1895. '^^'^ policy will further decrease the wool export for
the early months of 1896 by some 30,000 bales, as little will come in until the
regular shearing season. The indications are that exports will be compara-
tively light during the first months of 1896, and the whole year may show a
decrease, as compared with 1895, ^^ from 180,000 to 200,000 Imles. This
is the judgment of those whose province it is to be informed on these
questions.

The actual clip of 1895 was really a short one, and there is little hope
that the clip for 1 896 will be any greater. In fact, should the shearing season
be late and the usual portion of the clip be carried over to 1897, there will
appear a considerable deficiency in this year's exports.

But there is another discouraging feature in the present outlook for the
Australian woo* trade. Owing to excessive droughts, there was an estimated
deficiency in the drop of lambs in 1895 ^^ about 7,000,000 in this colony
alone, as compared with 1894. Including all Australasia, the deficiency of
the lambs, it is believed, will reach approximately 10,000,000, or a drop
of 18,000,000 lambs in 1895, against 28,000,000 in 1894. This is a serious
matter, for not only did this cause a real deficiency of some 58,000 bales
of lambs' wool for 1895, but it materially affected the average quality of the
lambs' wool of the whole clip.



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FISCAL CHANGES IN NEW SOUTH WALES.



293



The following table is presented to show the magnitude of the wool in-
dustry in this colony, with 1,200,000 i)eople, from 1891 to 1895, inclusive:



Year.



1891.
1893.

1893.
1894.



Number of '
sheep. I



Wool.



61,831,416
58,080,114
56,980,688
56,977,727



Pounds.
331.887,720
312,225,293
318,782,858
331 » 774. 424



Value.



^52,912,886
49,062,998
46,448,293
43. 256. 592



These 56,977,727 sheep in New South Wales are owned by 13,891 persons,
according to Mr. Coghlan*s latest statement, with a tendency, I am informed,
toward smaller flocks.



Siic of flocks.



J to 500..



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