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off, and the returns show a smaller export than in any of the years since 1878. The total quantity of sugar sent to coast ports and foreign countries was 613,454 piculs, of which 440,896 piculs were for foreign countries (including Hong-Kong), and 172,558 piculs were for Chinese ports. The sugar crop last year was not a good one, mainly, I believe, owing to the unfavorable weather of the year before. It does not appear that any diminution occurred in the amount of cane cultivated, but the yield was very bad. The gross crop is roughly estimated at about 700,000 piculs.

Brown sugar.-At the beginning of the year the price was about $3.20 a picul for Takon sugar, and $3 for Taiwanfoo sugar. Two months later prices had fallen to about $3 at Takon and $2.85 at Taiwanfoo.

The quality of the sugar offered for sale last year was better than of the year before, and as good as that of any previous season. In the Japan and other foreign markets the Takon sugar is very much preferred to that from Taiwanfoo, and there would be little sale for the latter, except to Chinese, were prices less unequal.

Last year Formosa sugar was sent to Canada-18,500 piculs-for the first time, I believe, and a much larger amount than usual was taken by steamers to Australia. There were also 19,744 piculs exported to the United States, none having been exported thither in 1881.

Of white sugar, also, the supply was insufficient, but the quality was good. Prices, however, were too high to allow foreigners to trade in it to any great extent, and the shipments to Chinese ports did not realize good profits. It will be seen that no sugar of any kind was exported to Great Britain.

Turmeric also shows a marked decrease, the total amount exported in 1882 being less than in 1881 by 2,596 piculs.

It may be of interest to note the export of liquid indigo and indigo seed last year by foreign vessels. Of the former 131 piculs and of the latter 654 piculs were shipped to Chinese ports, none of either being retained as so exported in the year previous.

Treasure. The returns show an increase in the importation of treas ure and a decrease in its export in 1882 as compared with 1881. These tables are, however, not of any great value. They give only the returns of the treasure reported to the imperial maritime customs, and it is well known that a large amount of treasure is imported and exported without being reported to the customs. With reference to the treasure returns for 1881 Mr. Novion states:

As these figures only represent a small part of the banking transactions between his and other ports it is scarcely worth while to comment upon them.


There was a marked falling off in tonnage last year, as compared with 1881 and 1880. This is accounted for by the low rate of freight which prevailed during the year and the greatly diminished trade of the ports. Except during the sugar season there is no competition here, and Messrs. Douglas, Lapraik & Co.'s little steamer Albay is our chief medium of communication with the main land throughout the year.


The returns show that 5,332 passengers traveled by foreign vessels to and from Taiwan and Takon and the mainland during 1882. This does not include the passengers by the Chinese Government transports,

which, during the past year, carried some thousands of passengers between Taiwan and the mainland. The most of these were students and officials traveling to and from Foochow. Stones and other mate. rials for the Taotai's city drains were also brought over in the transports, and thus it is plain that these vessels interfere with the ordinary business of merchant vessels. Still the passenger traffic of foreign vessels does not appear to have fallen off in consequence.


Though 1882 was not a good year for trade in South Formosa there is no good reason to believe that the falling away is likely to be permanent. On the contrary a revival of prosperity may be confidently expected. The present year may not be marked by any great change for the better, as last year was bad to the end, but there are signs which give encouragement. The cultivation of sugar-cane is on the increase, and communication with the distributing markets and the interior is becoming safer and more convenient.

Takon shows little sign of improvement, but Taiwanfoo and its port, Anping, are rising rapidly. On this subject the following paragraph from the trade report for 1881, drawn up by our amiable and accomplished commissioner of customs, Mr. Novion, sums up all that is of importance:

In closing the report it is difficult not to make a last remark on the general tendency of the trade of Takon to transfer itself to Anping. Two new firms established during the year are at Auping; the number of steamers which visit that port is increasing. The business has become such that the representatives of the various firms now spend most of their time in Anping; in fact, with the exception of a certain exportation of sugar there is no business at Takon. This is due to the nearness of Anping to Taiwanfoo, where all imports are distributed and business transacted, and to the difficulties of communication between the two ports.

It is probable that if Anping could offer the same dwelling accommodation as Takow all the members of this community would remove there, except perhaps during the middle of summer. It is not, however, to be concluded from the above that Takow will be abandoned entirely. Its exportation of sugar, besides other advantages of climate and residence, is more than sufficient to preserve the port from complete desertion. Still the business of the south of Formosa has now much increased, while the personnel of the foreign firms as well as of the public offices has remained the same, so that it has become almost impossible to divide the work between the two ports, as was done before, and Anping has become ipso facto the principal residence of all the merchants and the center of all the business of the place. Anping is likely to become more important every year, and the future of Takow depends now in the improvement of shipping accommodation or the establishment of convenient communication with Tawan and the extension of cultivation in the south of the island.

During the year past Messrs. Russell & Co., the well-known American firm, established an agency at Takow and Taiwanfoo. This firm is apparently determined to have its share in the great export trade of sugar from this part of Formosa. There are also now two Parsee firms established at these ports, chiefly for trade in opium.

The total revenue collected by the imperial maritime customs at this port in 1882 was 186,961 Haikwan taels. That in 1881 was 218,395, Haikwan taels, showing a decrease in the year under review of 31,434 Haikwan taels. To the sum collected by the imperial maritime customs we must add much more in order to estimate the revenue which the Chinese Government derive from foreign trade at Taiwanfoo and Takow. Thus, there are the lekin tax on opium, amounting in 1882 to $220,000, and the octroi on sugar, not to mention items of less importance.

New roads are being made in some parts of South Formosa, and soldiers are engaged in cutting passages across the lower hills of the territory of the aborigines to the east of Feng Shan.

The only shipping casualty to be reported is that of the German vessel August, which was wrecked at the Pescadores in October last. The natives behaved very badly, and plundered the wreck; but, through the prompt and vigorous measures of the acting German consul, Mr. Budler, satisfaction was obtained, and a promise exacted from the authorities that the criminals would be punished.


Taiwan, March 20, 1883.

Consular Agent.


Statement showing the imports at Tien-Tsin for the year ending December 31, 1882.

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Statement showing the exports from Tien-Tsin for the year ending December 31, 1882.

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Statement showing the imports and exports between Tien-Tsin and the United States for the

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year 1882.

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102, 500 62 6, 861 32 39, 411 60 3,436 83 47 68 325 58 73 32 1,205 45 318 25

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Statement showing the navigation at the port of Tien-Tsin for the year ending December 31, 1882.

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Statement showing the imports at Wenchow for the year ending June 30, 1882.

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