United States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign Commerce.

Consular reports, Issues 188-191 online

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According to custom-house statistics, the total exportation to countries
other than the United States for 1895 was as follows :


Lemons... „



Grapes ^..


Manafoctored cotton.



4.959. «42










«. 347. 711
*5. 337. 364


The on!y articles recorded in the custom-house as being brought from the
United St^es to this port are wheat, cotton, staves, and petroleum. During
the year 1895, however, partly on account of the additional duty imposed
upon foreign wheat at the beginning of the year, but very little was imported,
viz, 29,000 kilograms from the United States and 42,920 kilograms from
England, while in 1894, under the lower rate of duty, the import at this port
was 4,205,222 kilograms from the United States and a little more than this
quantity from England and France.

The duty in force on wheat December 31, 1895, was 10^ pesetas per 100
kilograms; on flour, 17.32 pesetas per 100 kilograms.

The importation of petroleum was also less for a like reason — higher
duties. In 1894, the imports from the United States amounted to 1,424,087
kilograms, against 473,815 kilograms in 1895. Nearly one-tenth less than
this figure is given as imported from all other countries.

Cotton also suffered a diminished importation from the United States,
being but 1,827,316 kilograms in 1895, against 2,422,290 kilograms in 1894,
while but a trifle was imported from England and France.

Staves also fell off from 344,502 kilograms imported from the United
States in 1894 to 262,413 kilograms in 1895, while only 35,927 kilograms
came from England.

The hard times throughout the district will doubtless account somewhat
for the diminished importation of some of the articles. The small importa-
tion of petroleum, as well as of wheat — though the crop of wheat was good
last year — are, however, chiefly due to the increased rate of duty levied in
February, 1895, on these articles. But whether the times are good or bad
throughout this coimtry, whether nK>ney is abundant or scarce anK>ng the
people, as I have stated in former reports, our manufacturers and merchants
can not reasonably expect or hope to have any trade of importance with
the people of this country until such time as our Government negotiates a
treaty with Spain which will give us at least an equal chance with the favored
nations of placing our products and manuiiactures on this market, and, in

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addition, direct steam communication and direct banking facilities. Of
course, if we have sufficient trade there will be no lack of direct steamers — if
not American, foreign-built ships — that will do the carrying business. What
we want is the trade. To have the business transacted directly with New
York or other ports in the United States, instead of through England, will
save time and money.

Malaga, January 18 y i8g6. Consul,


Although the production of grapes in this province ought to increase
every year on account of the new and large plantations which are continually
made, this year's crop has been about the same as that of last year. The
total quantity shipped amounted to 690,113 barrels and 3,950 half barrels,
as follows :

Exported to—







Russia, Sweden, Germany, etc.

New York












a. 547


Although the crop was no larger than that of 1894, a larger quantity has
been shipped to the United States, owing to the fact that although the first
prices obtained in Great Britain were satisfactory, they fell to such an extent
that shippers decided to throw the fruit upon the American markets, where,
it appears, the prices in general, if not altogether satisfactory, were at least
better than those realized in Great Britain.

Unfortunately, the vines still suffer from the phylloxera, and for this reason
the production does not increase in proportion to the new vineyards which
are being yearly set out.

An effective remedy to destroy the pest has not yet been found, and, in
the meantime, it is extending more and more. Many of the farmers are now
substituting American for the diseased vines.

Although the grapes of this district, as a rule, possess good keeping qual-
ities, it appears that this characteristic has suffered to a certain extent through
the phylloxera and other diseases.

Of other fruits, nuts, etc., there were shipped from this port, in 1895 :
Almonds, 10,355 boxes to Great Britain and 27 boxes to New York ; oranges,
14,459 boxes to Great Britain ; and pomegranates, 327 boxes to Great Britain.

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Of esparto grass, 13,547 tons have been exported to Great Britain for
paper manufacturing.

Iron ore. — Through the failure of an English firm at the beginning of
the year 1895, ^^ yiOT\i in the Sierra Alhamilla, Alfaro, and Herrerias mines,
situated near Almeria, has been stopped, and only 5,850 tons of iron ore
have been shipped to Great Britain during the year. It is, however, reported
that arrangements are being made to commence working these mines again
very shortly.

Only 1,712 tons of calamine have been shipped during this year to
Antwerp, presumably for transshipment to Germany.


Coal. — There were imported during 1895, 4>242 tons from Newcastle
and 2,500 tons from Cardiff, for gas works and foundries.

Oak staves, — During 1895 there were imported 292,195 oak staves from
New Orleans for the manufacture of grape barrels. The stock here at present
is very small, but further supplies are expected to arrive shortly from New
Orleans to meet the requirements.

From Italy, 7,800 bundles of wooden hoops (200 in each bundle) were
imported. The balance required for the manufacture of grape barrels was
drawn from the north of Spain.

Timber, — The import of timber was as follows: From Trinidad, 1,637
cubic meters; from Sweden, 1,291 cubic meters; in all, 2,928 cubic meters.


A part of the railway between Almeria and Linares, which is being
built, was finished from Almeria to Guadix, 100 kilometers, and opened for
traffic some time ago.


Consular Agent
Almeria Malaga, January z, i8g6.


The climate and soil of Spain favor, to a remarkable degree, the cultiva-
tion of fruits and nuts, which are produced and exported in large quantities,
and by many are considered to have unrivaled flavor.

Grapes and raisins, — ^The most valuable product of the Spanish soil is
the grapevine, which furnishes fine fruit, not only for immediate consump-
tion, but for preserves, and yields many excellent kinds of wine and superior
qualities of alcohol, vinegar, and tartar. Of all dried fruit, raisins have,
from the earliest times, been the most popular, and have even served as a
-medium of exchange. The raisins of Spain have a fame that dates back to
the earliest days of her commerce. The best-known kinds are the Pasas de
Denia, of which there are two varieties, and the Pasas de Malaga, of which
there are three varieties — La Moscatel, La Flor, and £1 Sol. There is

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another variety, called Pasas dc Legia, which is produced by treating the
grape with a liquid composed of water, ashes, and oil. In 1894, Spain ex-
ported 32,425,512 kilograms (71,498,249 pounds) of raisins, valued at
$3,242,551, and 19,763,495 kilograms (43,578,506 pounds) of grapes, valued
at 11,646,957, principally to Great Britain and the United States — to Great
Britain, 17,847,000 kilograms of raisins and 15,064,000 kilograms of
grapes; to United States, 5,441,000 kilograms of raisins and 2,240,000
kilograms of grapes.

OraMges. — The best Spanish oranges are those grown in Majorca, Valen-
cia, Seville, and Malaga, In 1894, the exportations of this fruit amounted
to 160,340,837 kilograms (354,645»o45 pounds), valued at |4,275»755» prin-
cipally to Great Britain, France, Germany, and Belgium, viz: To Great
Britain, 100,846,289 kilograms; France, 40,941,260 kilograms; Germany,
5,643,447 kilograms; Belgium, 3,041,306 kilograms; United States, 86,000

Apples. — Spanish apples are of many kinds; they are grown principally
in Andalusia, Aragon, in the Asturias, and Provincias Vascongadas. The
best-known varieties are those called the Balbonis, Balsain, Oro, Coralino,
Bilbao, 'Ripanaldas, Vizcainas, Castellanas, Romana, Encarnadas, Violadas,
Doradas, Anis, Paloma, Api, Rosa, Tostada, and Helada. In the Asturias
and Las Vascongadas and in Santander, cider is made in large quantities, but
it is mostly consumed where made. It is not of a good enough quality to
export or bring into competition with the cider of other countries.

Fears, — The supply of pears, owing to the great variety produced, never
fails in Spain during the entire year. Various liquids are made of pears by
the Spaniards, and with successful results. These liquids include pear vine-
gar, brandy, and cider, and material to mix with white wines.

Melons, — The melons of Spain merit all the praise they receive, and that
is great. Some of the best are produced in Valencia and are exported in
large numbers. The people of Barcelona are well supplied with them from
September until March, and they may even be had later and at very reason-
able prices.

Peaches. — Spain acknowledges that the United States, France, and Italy
produce better peaches than she does, but the Spanish peaches are, neverthe-
less, not only good when preserved, but many of them are excellent when
fresh. The Parvias of Murcia, Andalusia, and Almeria are considered the
most succulent kind, but, as a matter of fact, they are rather hard.

Pomegranates. — This kind of fruit was brought from Africa and accli-
mated in Spain in times too remote to be dated with accuracy. The favorite
varieties are those of Carcagente and Jativa and the so-called Cifiuelas.
They are cultivated especially in Almeria, Murcia, Orihuela, Valencia,
Castellon, and Tortosa. In 1894, the exports amounted to 9,588,735 kilo-
grams (21,142,775 pounds), valued at 1 101,000, viz: To Great Britain,
2,227,104 kilograms; France, 1,282,162 kilograms; United States, 42,475

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Jngs. — Figs grow in all parts of Spain, but they thrive best in Alicante,
Cistelk>n de la Plana, Aragon, Catalonia, Malaga, Valencia, and Majorca.
The exportation in 1894 amounted to 4,156,487 kilograms (9,165,054
pounds), valued at about 1 200,000. France, Denmark, Cuba, and Great
Britain were the largest consumers.

Chestnuts. — Chestnuts abound principally in Catalonia, Vizcaya, Estre-
madura, and the Asturias, but they are not of a superior quality, and are not
exported to any great extent. They are fed to cattle, as they are fattening.

Wainuts, — These are abundant in Cordova, Malaga, I^on, Huesca,
Oviedo, and along the whole Cantabrian coast. In 1894, the exports
amounted to 81,217 kilograms (178,678 pounds), valued at J 4, 600.

Filberts, — ^Tarragona is the land of filberts, and most of them find their
way to England, where they bring 35s. (^7.83) per 50 kilograms (i 10 pounds),
as against 25s. (|6.o8) for the same quantity produced in Sicily or Turkey.
The exports of filberts in 1894 amounted to 6,900,413 kilograms (15,180,-
919 pounds), valued at $460,000. England consumed of that amount
6,064,266 kilograms.

Almonds. — Nearly every known kind of almond grows in Spain. The
Spaniards divide them into two general classes — the sweet (almendras dulces)
and the bitter (almendras amargas). The former are cultivated especially
in Alicante, and are of five varieties — Pestafieta, Bale, Blancal, Mollar, and
Comun; the latter are produced in Tarragona, Malaga, and Majorca.
Perhaps, the best of Spanish almonds are those of Malaga, which are almost
cylindrical in shape, and have a very fine flavor. The exportation of
alnoonds during 1894 was as follows: In shells, 1,435,855 kilograms (3,158,-
881 pounds), valued at $239,300; without shells, 3,475,082 kilograms
(7,645,180 pounds), valued at $1,245,000. The principal markets for Span-
ish almonds are Great Britain, France, and the United States.


Consul' General.

Barcelona, March 2, i8g6.


[Translation of decree. — Transmitted, under date of January 18, 1896, by Minister McKcnzie, of Lima.]

The raising of the necessary funds for the ransom of the Provinces of
Tacna and Arica being urgent, the Congress of Peru has passed the follow-
ing law :

Article i. Salt is declared a monopoly throughout the territory of the Republic, and,
ooAsequently, the importation and exportation of this article are prohibited from the date of
the prooHilgation of this law to everybody excepting the State.

Art. 2. Neither will the sale of salt for home consumption be permitted to anybody but
the State from the moment the offices referred to in article 5 are established.

Art. 3. After the promulgation of this law, no salt mines, salt-forming lands, salt deposits,
or salt-water wells can be taken up (claimed) within the territory of Peru.

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Art. 4. The State will purchase from the owners of salt works in operatioQ the produce
yielded by the latter at prices to be opportunely fixed by a special decree, on the basis of up
to 20 per cent advance on the prime cost as a profit to be allowed to the said owners.

Art. 5. The State will sell both the salt intended fcr home consumption and that in-
tended for exportation, and will establish the respective offices in all the departmental and
provincial capitals and such other places as it may deem convenient.

Art. 6. The selling prices of salt will be fixed by the Executive power, which will con-
sider such industries as may be affected by the impost and are deserving of State protection,
as also the cost of transport from the producing to the consuming districts.

Art. 7. The State will pay to such corporations as are actually deriving an income from
salt-producing lands a sum equal to that at present enjoyed by them, always providing they
continue working the same.

Art. 8. It will also make equitable arrangements for the indemnifying of leaseholders of
salt-producing lands for the loss of profits during the term of their respective contracts up to
20 per cent of the rents paid by them, unless they elect to continue working the same for
their own account and sell the yield to the State on the terms fixed by article 4.

Art. 9. The Executive power will establish the respective rules and regulations for the
purpose of assuring and watching'over the canying out of this law. To this end, it is au-
thorized to impose fines up to 20 per cent per kilogram on all salt taken from delinquents, in
addition to the confiscation of the same, unless the guilty party or parties are relieved from
the criminal responsibility incurred by them on account of the contraband trade in which they
are engaged.

Art. 10. The Government will opportunely order such measures to be taken as shall
compel holders of salt to present an exact inventory of their stocks of both native and foreign
salt stored in their depots, warehouses, and places of sale. These stocks will be bought by
the State for cash, at an advance of 10 per cent upon the cost to the holder. The Govern-
ment will also purchase salt in transit and intended for importation, as also that which, by
virtue of contracts, is intended for exportation, on the same terms as above stated.

Art. II. If, in the opinion of the Government, the establishing of the monopoly should
present difficulties, this law authorizes it to establish a salt tax, both on salt consumed in the
country and on salt intended for exportation, to which end it may establish the necessary

Art. 12. The Executive will give an account of the use made by it of this authorization
before the next ordinary legislature, presenting a special and detailed memorial of everything
relating to this branch, and if, by virtue of the establishing of the monopoly, a contract re-
lating to the same be made, it can not be extended over a term exceeding two years, dating
from January i, 1896. Neither will it be permitted to auction the administration of the tax.

Art. 13. The yield of the monopoly or tax created by this law shall be solely and ex-
clusively devoted to the ransom of Tacna and Arica.



I have the honor to report that there was recently published, by the Gov-
ernment printing office at Lima, a very interesting and instructive pamphlet
on the sugar industry of Peru from 1550 to 1895. '^^^ author is Sefior Don
Alejandro Garland, a writer and compiler of deservedly high reputation for
accuracy and learning.

NoTB BY THB Dbpartmbnt.— In the reductions— made in the Department— througliout tiiis report from
Peruvian to United Sutes currency, the soi hat been estimated at 46 cents, tliat being lu average value, ac
cording to the Unittd Sutes Treasury valuations, for X894, the year embraced in Consul Jastremsld's report.

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The sugar industry is considered the most important in Peru. Were it
developed to the extent that the capabilities of the country admit, this in-
dustry would vastly increase the wealth, as well as the importance, of the
foreign commerce of the Republic.

Sugar is one of the leading imports of the United States, and the manu-
facture of improved machinery for making sugar is an important and remu-
nerative branch of its industries. Obviously, this subject must be interesting
to many of our people ; consequently, I have deemed it useful to translate
copiously from Mr. Garland's work and compose, in as condensed a form
as the matter would permit, the following report :


The sugar cane originated in China and India and was introduced into
Syria and Egypt, and thence to the rest of Africa. About the middle of the
twelfth century, the Arabs, having acquired the secret of crystallizing sugar,
inaugurated cane culture in the islands of the Mediterranean, and, later, in
the south of Spain, where it attained great development during Moorish
domination. In the fifteenth century, cane culture was begun in the Cana-
ries. At the beginning of the following century it was extended to Brazil,
Santo Domingo, and Cuba; thence to Mexico and the rest of Spanish Amer-
ica. The first cane planted in Peru came from Mexico. The first sugar
haciendas appeared at Huanuco, and soon after at Piura, where cane culture
was rapidly extended. The product was gradually exported to Guayaquil,
Chile, and Buenos Ayres, when the increasing demand led the planters to
introduce slave labor for its production, which, three centuries later, was
followed by the importation of Chinese labor.

The first lot of African slaves was brought to Peru in 1529 ; the second,
in 1555. At the end of the sixteenth century, their number in Peru was
estimated at 20,000, and in 1795, 40,366, distributed as follows: Lima,
29*763; Trujillo, 4,724; Arequipa, 5,258; Tarma, 236; Huancavelica, 41 ;
Guamanga (Ayacucho), 30; Cuzco, 284. A few were brought to Peru dur-
ing the first years of the present century, and, in 181 7, the importation of
African slaves was prohibited by decree of Ferdinand VII. The total value
of the slaves approximated 15,000,000 pesos.

^» 1^35* ^^e old commercial house of Gibbs made the first exportation
of sugar to Europe, from the port of Cerro Azul, in the brig Pacifico^ of 280

Under the law of November 17, 1849, giving a premium of 30 pesos per
immigrant when the number exceeded fifty, 320 Irish and 1,096 Germans
were brought to Peru to cultivate the cane. In 1863, 740 Polynesians were
imported for the same purpose. The latter soon perished, and not more than
10 are now to be found in Peru. On October 15, 1849, ^^^ Danish bark
Federico Guillermo landed the first lot of coolies (75). From July, 1853,
to December 21, 1859, no less than 10,000 coolies were imported, and from
i860 to 1874, 77,343 more were landed. They were under contract to work
for eight years, and to receive 4 soles per month, with rations of rice^

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clothings etc. Tliey were to work twelve hours per day. Eight hours now
constitute a day's labor, at the rate of 65 centavos, equivalent to about 33
cents in gold.

Supported by this reliable labor, the sugar industry made rapid progress.
In 1 86 1, the introduction of improved machinery began, the first appearing
in the haciendas of Caudevilla, Huando, and others. Banks were organ-
ized to supply funds to the haciendas, and there soon resulted an expor-
tation approximating 2,000,000 quintals of sugar, which, valued at 25s. per
quintal, yielded a sum of ;^2, 506,000 ($12,165,000) annually. The debt
bearing upon the sugar industry in 1875 ^^ ^^^^^^ ^^ss than 30,000,000
soles,* equivalent to ^5,000,000 ($24,330,000). Numerous unproductive
improvements contributed to create this heavy debt, which grew more bur-
densome from accumulating interest. The financial crisis in 1875 ^^^ only
deprived the haciendas of the bank facilities they were receiving, but the
banks pressed the payment of the funds due them. The price of sugar began
to decline in Liverpool, and lands that had yielded an average of 500 quin-
tals per fanegada (about 6,500 pounds per acre) gave less for want of fertil-
izing. Chinese labor, also, had decreased, until, in 1876, it did not exceed
48,000, including free and contract labor. In 1879, ^^^ disastrous war with
Chile came to augment the existing difficulties. Many fields were aban-
doned, and, at its close, the exportation had declined 50 per cent.

The commercial history of Peru shows no more disastrous liquidations
than were made at this time of the liberal loans which had been extended to
the sugar industry. Not more than 33 per cent of the original amount was
realized — the loss being 20,000,000 soles. f Commercial firms and banks of
loans and discounts failed and great losses were sustained by individuals.
So widespread was the injury sustained that it will be years ere capitalists
will again extend financial facilities to the sugar planters.

Following the peace with Chile, in 1883, and the evacuation of the na-
tional territory by the Chilean forces came another period of trial for the
sugar planters.

The coin had left the country, the contracts with the Chinese laborers
had expired, the price of sugar had fallen to 23s. per quintal (101.61 pounds),
and there were no banks of loans and discounts nor commercial firms to ad-
vance funds to the planters at a time when they needed them most to repair
machinery and make new contracts with the free laborers.

The scarcity of labor has been sorely felt, and speculators have organized
laborers in bands, for whom they exact the tenth of their daily wages. The
plantations situated near the sierras have, however, made contracts with the
Indians to work during three or four months consecutively for a moderate
price. The help derived from this source has been of importance. Unfor-
tunately, the ignorance of this class, their intemperance, and the neglect of
sanitation, aggravated by insufficient shelter on the haciendas, tend to oper-
ate against this labor.

•On Jannary i, 1875, the silver sol was valued at 9X.8 cents and on January z, 1896, at 41.9 cents,
t In 1879, ^^ *<^ ^f'** valuod at 93)4 cents.

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These conditions have led the planters to adopt more economical meth-
ods to decrease the cost of production. Improved machinery, portable and
other tranrways, etc, have been introduced. Plantations have been grouped,
to bring them mder a single administration and to work them with a single
set of machinery.

On this principle, for example, three great companies for the production

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 188-191 → online text (page 9 of 102)