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The dimensions of the staves in use here are: 44 feet long, six-sevenths inch wide; one edge 1 to 2 inches thick; one edge 2 to 3 inches thick. The kind of timber most desirable for staves is oak.
The supply is derived from importing houses, and the demand ruled by vintage.
The staves sold in this district are almost totally of American oak. A few staves are used of the sizes called charts, but the main demand is for extra pipes.
Staves discharged in Callao, Mollendo, and Salaverry, in 1890.
There were also 60,000 to 80,000 feet red wood used for wine tuns and presses.
Until recently 44-foot extra heavy pipe staves were princially used, but now the demand for them is less, whilst smaller staves, especially 3 feet 2 inches size, are on the increase. This change is due to the fact that the country is getting poorer, and therefore consumers require smaller packages to supply the demand. This is the reason given me by men in the trade, but the informants ignore the question of economy, which is undoubtedly a factor.
Nearly all, if not all, the pipe staves come from the United States; the red wood, mostly from Central America.
The cost of staves as nearly as I can ascertain is as follows: First kind mentioned above, butts, variable; second kind mentioned, about 60 cents silver; third kind, about 50 cents silver; fourth kind, 38 to 45 cents silver; fifth kind, 32 to 36 cents silver; sixth kind, 22 to 25 cents silver.
The staves should be as dry as possible, as thereby they save something in freight and landing charges at this end. Any slight increase in the dimensions of the rough staves is always appreciated by the buyers here.
Oak is the only timber used, with the exception of the red wood mentioned above.
Cash. This means here thirty days' time.
The United States supplies practically all the staves used in this country.
Importers generally try to get the staves shipped as dunnage, to obtain better freight rates. Staves ought always to be distinctly marked with paint in order to avoid confusion with other lots. A. J. DAUGHERTY,
UNITED STATES CONSULATE,
Callao, June 10, 1891.
REPORT BY CONSUL HILL, OF MONTEVIDEO.
No staves, as such, are imported into Uruguay. The statistics show that, in the year 1888, 1,265 boxes, set up (cajones armados), were imported, valued at $366. In 1889, 5,823, valued at $1,456. All these came from Germany. The imports of boxes not set up or put together, "cajones desarmados," with countries to which accredited, for years 1888 and 1889, were as follows:
Empty casks (cascos vaciós) were imported during same years from various countries as per following table:
The supply of empty wine and other casks is sufficient for the demand. Consequently few staves are used here and those are not imported. FRANK D. HILL,
UNITED STATES CONSULATE,
Montevideo, July 20, 1891.
REPORT BY CONSUL PLUMACHER, OF MARACAIBO.
There is no importation of staves into this district from foreign countries on account of the excessive duties, which amount to about 6 cents in American money per kilogram gross weight. For this reason all classes of casks, barrels, hogsheads, etc., in which are introduced wines and liquors, are eagerly sought after, principally by distillers, as the liquor industry in this country, and particularly in this district, is exceedingly important and lucrative. Although in Venezuela there are innumerable varieties of hard woods, yet there is none suitable in all respects for the manufacture of liquor casks, and the wood most suitable for this purpose, the ceiba, has the disadvantage of porosity when exposed to alcoholic action. American oak is recognized by every one as being immeasurably superior to all other woods for the fabrication of receptacles for liquor, but the duties forbid its introduction in the form of staves.
An empty wine or brandy cask of the capacity, say, of 80 gallons, may be readily sold at Maracaibo for $4, United States gold, and the demand always far exceeds the supply.
Respecting the style of staves in request, I beg to state that were it possible to introduce them free, or subject to a reasonable duty, there would no doubt be a ready sale for all descriptions of oak, ranging from the immense hogsheads for the fermentation of the mash to the small 5-gallon casks for donkey transportation in the interior. One of the
principal distillers of this district, whose establishment is on a very extended scale, expressed to me his hope that the reciprocity negotiations between the United States and Venezuela would include the free entry into this country of staves, and from my own knowledge of the importance of this industry I venture to suggest that this is a subject worthy of attention. E. H. PLUMACHER,
UNITED STATES CONSULATE,
Maracaibo, April 15, 1891.
BRITISH WEST INDIES.
REPORT BY VICE-CONSUL BAYLEY, OF KINGSTON.
No staves are imported into this island to be manufactured into barrels, everything being brought in as completed barrels, each one' separate, and simply put together after their arrival here. For that reason, the figures given below include the value of the headings with the staves.
(1) One hundred and forty-five thousand nine hundred and ninetytwo barrels of all kinds were imported during the fiscal year ending March 31, 1891-including puncheons and hogsheads-valued at $47,321.74.
(2) The kind of staves in greatest demand were for barrels for oranges, next puncheons for rum, next hogsheads for sugar.
(3) There was imported into the island for the year ending March 31,
(4) To command the best price, and give the most satisfaction, the staves should be delivered in bundles with headings complete, each bundle making a barrel complete, except the hoops if they are to be of iron, and including the hoops if they are to be of wood.
(5) I can not give any dimensions, more than to say, that the staves should be of the size to make the following packages: Tierces, hogsheads, barrels for flour, and barrels for apples,
(6) The timber for puncheons, tierces, and hogsheads should be of oak. The other packages, of various kinds; black ash seems to be most used.
(7) The staves are generally bought in the United States by commission firms here having branches or agencies there, who are also generally agents for the estates from which the sugar, rum, or oranges are sent for shipment.
(8) Almost 99 per cent of the staves used here are from the United States, and only a trifle over 1 per cent are from other countries. And it would seem, from the value given, as if some of the packages imported here from other countries were second-hand, and therefore possibly brought from the United States originally.
(9) Almost all the flour brought here comes from the United States, and in barrels. And at least 90 per cent of these barrels are returned to the United States filled with oranges; holes having first been cut in the sides. The barrels brought in under the heading of "all other sorts" are nearly all for the export of oranges; and when brought in for this purpose, each stave has three holes bored in it of about one and one-half inches in diameter.
R. W. BAYLEY,
UNITED STATES CONSULATE,
Kingston, Jamaica, September 1, 1891.
REPORT BY CONSUL PIERCE.
There were imported into this island last year (1890) 231,600 staves, the value of which, at time and place of shipment, as entered at the custom-house here, was £3,031. It is believed, however, a closer approximation of values would be to put the first cost of red-oak staves at about $45 and of white-oak staves at about $58 per thousand, freight on same being from $9 to $12 per thousand.
Much the greater demand is for red-oak staves for molasses puncheons, but a demand also exists for white-oak staves for rum puncheons. The supply is altogether from the United States, and is used almost altogether in the cooperage establishment of the persons importing the staves.
They should be shipped and delivered under the head of "No. 1, inspected."
They should be 44 to 45 inches long and 3 to 4 inches wide.