Sivut kuvina

Elm staves used here are from 30 to 32 inches; white oak, from 10 to 54 inches.

Elm thoroughly dry is the most desirable for flour-barrel staves and other light work, while white oak is universally used for beer, spirit, and oil barrel staves.

As to the conditions of supply and demand, the supply of elm staves is far in excess of the demand, there being several stave factories in the western section of Ontario, and the timber unlimited. The supply of white-oak staves is from Michigan and Indiana, and commands a good price here, 20-inch staves costing $18 to $20 per 1,000 laid down here. There is little or no white-oak timber in Canada, and I am not in a position to give any information as to the supply in the States mentioned, but the opinion here is that the supply is limited on account of the high prices.

Very few American staves are sold in this district.


Stratford, April 30, 1891.





There are a great many staves used in Toronto, and although I have made diligent inquiry, would be afraid to make an approximate of the number actually used annually. The largest manufacturing firm in the city, of tanks, barrels, etc., use 60,000 annually, valued at $3,000, for beer barrels, besides about $2,000 worth of lager-beer puncheon staves. They are about 6 feet long by 24 inches thick, dressed and dry.

The staves in greatest demand are from 38 to 42 inches long by 14 inches in thickness.

About half of the staves used are imported from the United States; the other half are procured in Canada. They cost, delivered here, for 42-inch, $65 per 1,000; 38-inch, $55 per 1,000; 32-inch, $45 per 1,000; 25-inch, $30 per 1,000; 22-inch, $25 per 1,000; 18-inch, $18 per 1,000. The buyers here require the staves to be delivered, dressed and dry (not steamed), and should be of white oak. The demand is good, but the supply is only fair. There are no stave factories in the immediate vicinity of Toronto, the forests in this district having disappeared years ago. As above stated, fully one-half of the staves used in this district are imported from the United States, and I have no doubt but that even a larger percentage can be sold here. This is a great city for

breweries, and consequently large numbers of barrels, puncheons, etc., are used, making a good demand for staves.

A good, active agent, coming here from the United States would, I feel confident, do well.

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There are practically no staves consumed or used in this district, with the exception of one large whisky distillery, which manufactures its own barrels and casks. The staves for these are all white oak and all imported from the United States, most of them coming from Missouri and Arkansas. I am not aware that any other staves of any kind are imported into the district from any source.

There are several stave mills in the district. I am not able to give their output, except to say I am in receipt of reasonably reliable information that the average general output from Essex, Kent, and Lambton counties is about 150,000,000. I should estimate this district to produce somewhat less than one-third of the amount.

The production is now limited, so far as this district is concerned, to elm staves, which are used for sugar, fruit, and flour barrels, and at least 90 per cent are exported to the United States.

The prices, delivered on board the cars, at the mill, are as follows: No. 1, 30-inch stave, per gross thousand, $5 to $5.50; No. 2, 30-inch stave, per gross thousand, $2.75 to $3; Mill run, 30-inch stave, per gross thousand, $4 to $5.

The correct dimensions of the different kinds are as follows: Sugarbarrel staves, 30 inches long, three-eighths inch thick; flour-barrel staves, 284 inches long, three-eighths inch thick; fruit-barrel staves, 281 inches long, five-sixteenths inch thick.

The foregoing prices, however, apply to all three kinds. It is gen erally thought here that the most desirable way of shipping is in bundles, sixty to a bundle, making 1,200 for a gross thousand. They should be put up dry.

The elm timber is fast being exhausted in this district, and, it may be said, all along the lower lake region of Ontario. Prices, therefore, will have a tendency to increase rather than diminish, unless affected by increased supply in the United States.

Far more timber for stave purposes is exported than is manufactured into staves on this side. It is exported in the form of stave bolts and manufactured by mills on the American side. As stave bolts are free

and there is a duty of 10 per cent on staves our manufacturers are enabled to pay the added cost of material in the way of freight and still compete with the Canadian manufacturers.

It is hardly necessary to suggest that the Canadian manufacturer has the advantage of being nearer the timber, and further, that the bolts are necessarily shipped when green, while staves are shipped dry, and weight counts in the cost of freight.

It should be added that while the timber along the lower lakes is becoming exhausted, such is not by any means the fact as you go father north. And as northern Ontario is now being tapped by railroads it is fair to presume that the Canadian supply of staves of all kinds will not be exhausted for many years.

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I have made diligent inquiry, but can obtain no reliable information as to import of staves. One broker tells me he has passed one or two carloads of staves for interior points, and I am satisfied they went to the Parras wine district, in the State of Coahuila. Mr. Evaristo Madero, ex-governor of that State, told me some days since that there had been one or two importations of staves, with heading and hoops, ready for setting up, but that he could not tell just where they came from. They were all from the United States.

The traffic, as will be seen, is very small, and there is no present prospect of much increase. Ixtle fiber is made into coarse sacking and is a cheaper and more convenient method of handling nearly all domestic products. Some flour is sent from place to place in Mexico, but usually in cotten cloth manufactured in the country. Considerable quantities of jute sacks are imported free, to export products of the country. The wooden covers of imports of wines, liquors, alcohol, lard, etc., are used to a limited degree in the storing and transport of native wines and for water carriers, but as the water carriers more often use stone and clay vessels, made in the country, and the wine product is very small, there is not much demand for this class of covering.

By the tariff, "section 1, merchandise free of duty, barrels and pipes (casks), of wood, set up or knocked down," are free of duty.

A small trade in barrels might be built up along the railways and in towns connected with the railways by good wagon roads, but in general a bale is better adapted for packing and carriage in all other por

tions of the country. The experience of many generations has made the Mexicans very expert in the preparation, packing, and transport of bales. As the ixtle fiber is so cheap the use of barrels would be restricted to the storage and transport of wines and liquors, and the transport of the freight along the railway lines.

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In this consular district there are but two regions where wine-making is carried on-the Parras region and the Cuatro Ciengas region.

Barrels and kegs and the staves from which they are made are only used in wine manufacture and transportation.

I have been unable to procure any stave data from the Cuatro Ciengas, but should estimate the requirements of that region at 30 per cent of Parras region.

The information here following refers entirely to Parras Coahuila: The amount of staves required annually is 6,000 barrels and 2,000 double barrels of a capacity of 70 and 120 liters respectively; 15 staves per single barrel, and 18 per double barrel, or 90,000 single-barrel staves and 36,000 double-barrel staves.

The kind of staves in greatest demand are those for single and double barrels (70 and 120 litres) and small casks of 5 and 10 gallons capacity. These staves are ordered from New Orleans, La., and St. Louis, Mo., and cost $2 per barrel, and $3.50 per double barrel (United States currency), and should be packed in barrels.

The dimensions are as follows: Barrel staves, 2 feet 1 inch by 3 inches to 4 inches; double-barrel staves, 2 feet 6 inches by 3 inches to 4 inches. The material of the staves should be the best white oak.

As to conditions of supply and demand a small part of the annual demand is supplied by home manufacture; the major portion required is ordered direct from the United States (principally from St. Louis, Mo., and New Orleans, La.); some large staves for very large stationary wine casks come from Chicago, Ill. The tariff or rate of duty on barrels and staves entering the Republic of Mexico is as follows: Barrels empty for packing, gross weight, per kilogram, 5 cents. Staves and headings of wood for barrels, gross weight, per kilogram, 1 cent. The iron hoops for barrels pay a duty of 10 cents per kilogram, gross weight.



Piedras Negras, Mex., June 10, 1891.





There are no staves manufactured in this consular district, nor are there any imported and set up in this country; so there is no "stave trade" in Honduras.

If some American capital would come into Honduras and engage in the manufacture of buckets and tubs a "stave trade" with the United States might be established, and a demand for the manufactured articles could be created.

At present there are few tubs, buckets, or wooden vessels of any description used in Honduras.. Water is transported and contained in earthenware vessels, and a kind of trough, called a "batea," is used for washing clothes.

The few barrels, kegs, etc., in use in this country are imported "readymade."

These people would have to be "educated" to the use of other kinds of vessels, and it could be done if they were mannfactured in this country and at a reasonable price.


Tegucigalpa, May 21, 1891.





After careful inquiry I find that the amount of staves annually introduced into this Republic will not amount to more than the value of $500.

Parties who formerly used barrels in the shipment of sugar now use bags, finding them much cheaper and answering the purpose as well, WILLIAM NEWELL,



Managua, July 15, 1891.

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