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staves, such as are used for flour and liquor barrels, would not find a market here.
Vice-Consul-General. UNITED STATES CONSULATE GENERAL,
Kanagawa, April 22, 1891,
REPORT BY CONSUL ABEROROMBIB.
No approximate estimate of the number and value of staves can be found, as there is no demand for foreign barrels or casks in Nagasaki.
The kind of staves in greatest demand is Sugi wood (Japanese cedar),
The timber for making staves is generally imported from Kishu, but the cost to the consumer of the various kinds is unascertainable.
Conditions of delivering staves, etc., can not be given.
The dimensions of the staves in use are from 2 feet to 21 feet long and generally brought here in logs of 3 or 4 superficial feet.
There is no particular kind of staves, but most desirable timbers are Sugi, Hinoki, Momi, ete. No American staves are said to be sold, at present, in Nagasaki.
W. H. ABERCROMBIE,
Consul. UNITED STATES CONSULATE,
Nagasaki, June 4, 1891.
REPORT BY OONSUL WEBB, OM MANILA.
The Philippine Islands have not advanced to that degree of civilization in which the manufacture of barrels and kegs takes its place among the prominent and profitable industries; in fact, the trade of the cooper has an exceedingly insignificant position here, owing to a number of causes. In the first place, almost everything shipped from this port goes in bales, baskets, bags, or tin-lined cases, and it is found to be very much less expensive to export the small quantities of fluid goods, which are exported, in second-hand barrels and kegs than to import new ones or the materials with which to make them.
Cooperage is exclusively in the hands of the Chinese, who have little shops or dens, with two or three workmen in each, and devote their efforts almost entirely to the manufacture of tubs and pails. The former are used for feeding and watering horses, cows, and buffaloes, while the latter are employed by the numerous coolies in transporting water, molasses, vinegar, sugar, etc., about the cities and suburbs, two pails being suspended at the ends of a bamboo pole carried across the shoulders.
The staves for these are made from discarded packing boxes purchased from the importing houses, and the hoops are either braided rattan or iron. No regular or machine-made staves are used, the Chinamen, with their characteristic economy, finding it far cheaper to buy the packing boxes and work them up by hand than to import staves, which pay a duty of about 60 cents a thousand.
A few barrels are made for high wines, liquors, and vinegar, but the staves for these are procured by purchasing second-hand barrels and casks in Hongkong and Amoy, where they are knocked down and shipped in bales as old wood, paying a duty of about 10 cents per 100 kilograms.
No hard-wood staves are made in the country, the native woods being far too expensive to be used for that purpose.
No American staves have ever been imported, so far as I can learn, nor is there a sufficient demand for new staves of any kind to justify their importation. Then, too, the great care necessary to protect wood from the ravages of wood-worms and white ants would add very materially to the expense of storing staves and, with the cost of transportation, duty, etc., would raise the price to a figure that would practically shut them out of the market. Again, the characteristic aversion of the Chinese to innovations or changes in their methods is calculated to discourage an attempt to introduce a new line of merchandise where an unusual risk is involved. It is possible that the Chinese coopers might be educated up to American machine-made staves, but, as before indicated, the demand for new barrels, casks, and kegs is so small that it is doubtful whether there would be profit enough in the trade to war. rant the necessary effort.
ALEX. R. WEBB,
Consul. UNITED STATES CONSULATE,
Manila, May 13, 1891.
CONTINENT OF AFRICA.
REPORT BY (OXSUL GRELLET, OF ALGIERS.
The natural result of the rapid growth of vine culture in this country has been the equally rapid progress of all trades connected with it, and specially of the "stave trade."
Up to the present no staves have been produced in Algeria, and the coopers have been under the necessity of importing all the materials they require.
The aunexed table shows the quantity of staves imported during the years 1889 and 1890, as well as the places of export, the approximate value being, for 1889, $290,000, and for 1890 $270,000, goods deliyered at Algiers or some other port in the colony.
The staves most in use in this country are those known as “ French staves" and worked with knives. The German staves, or "Binderholz,” worked with axes, do not meet the requirements.
The following are the dimensions: Lengths, 54, 48, 42, 36, 30, 24, and 18 inches; thickness, 11, 14, 1, i to 19, i to to i inches; widths, 4 to 6, 3 to 4, 2 to 3 inches. (The inch referred to is the ancient French inch=("027=1.063 English inch.)
Lengths are not regular. The 24-inch vary from 22 to 27; the 30-inch from 28 to 33; the 36 from 34 to 39; the 42 from 40 to 46, etc.
It is customary that any stave deficient in any one dimension be classed with the category to which said deficient measure corresponds, without regard to the other dimensions.
Staves are divided into three classes. First class, termed “Monte”— straight and well-worked staves without blea or tears. Second class, termed "Ecarts”-staves slightly deficient, bent, having knots, holes not running through, tears, or cracks. Third class, termed “ Vierge," all others. Staves of white oak are those in greatest demand; other sorts have been tried, but have not proved successful.
The wood should be as white as possible and come from sound trees felled whilst alive; if of yellow color or slightly stained with red it is of much less value, and if veined with red, rotten, or worm-eaten it is valueless.
The prices are based upon but one sort of staves—the staves 36 inches long, 4 to 6 inches wide, and 1 inch thick, which are worth from $69.48 to $79.13 at the port of lading, and from $100.36 to $111.94 at the port of unlading, per 1,000.
The prices of the other sizes are calculated as follows: Second class "Ecarts," one-third less than first class or Monte; the 42-inch long, onesixth more than the 36-inch; the 30-inch long, one-sixth less than the 36-inch; the 24-inch long, one-third less than the 36-inch; the 18-inch long, one-half less than the 36-inch; the 3 to 4 inch wide, one-third less than 4 to 6 inch; the is to 1 inch thick, one-sixth less than 1-inch; the 1 to 5 inch thick, one-third less than 1-inch; the to 1 inch thick, one-half less than 1-inch. On short staves a commission of 10 per cent on the 30-inch, 20
per cent on the 24-inch, 30 per cent on the 18-inch, is allowed.
The stave 1 inch thick is the most generally used. It must be swelled out at the middle of its length in proportion with said length. The 36-inch must be from 14 to 14 inches thick at the middle and at least 1 inch at its weakest point.
Staves are always sold for ready money and shipped in bulk.
Table showing the quantity of staves imported into Algeria during the years 1889 and 1890, and the countries of export.
The stave trade in this consular district is as follows, viz: First, No. of staves, 170,313, mille (1,200 to the M staves), value, $20,762.51.
American oak staves are in greatest demand.
The source of supply is the United States.
Prices: $240 per M. for pipe staves; $160 per M. for hogshead staves, and $120 per M. for barrel staves, including freight, etc.
Staves should be delivered in the rough.
American white oak timber is preferred. Staves sent for as required. The staves sold at this island are American.
JOHN F. HEALEY,
Consul. UNITED STATES CONSULATE,
Funchal, April 22, 1891.
REPORT BY CONSUL-GENERAL MATHEWS, OF TANGIER.
There is no stave trade in Morocco, and no staves are imported into the country.
The barrels imported for the use of sweet oil are supplied from England, France, and Germany, for which countries the oil is shipped from the ports of Saffi and Mogador.
The approximate number of barrels consumed annually at the above ports are about 20,000, of different sizes, holding from 150 to 170 kilos each.
Oil is exported also to France in iron tanks or pipes holding from 300 to 350 kilos each.
F. A. MATIIEWS,
Consul-General. UNITED STATES CONSULATE-GENERAL,
Tangier, May 13, 1891.
REPORT BY CONSUL HOLLIS, OF CAPE TOWN,
In response to instructions contained in Department circular of March 5, 1891, I beg to submit the information I have been enabled to gather in relation to the trade in staves in this country.
One of the first acquaintances I made in Cape Town upon my arrival here was the largest manufacturer of wine and other casks. He was so impressed with the advances he had heard of in his line of business in the United States that he went over and spent two months among the coopers in various lines.