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The kind of staves in greatest demand are one-half inch staves for cement casks, one-half and five-eighth inch staves for chemical casks.
The cost is about 258. to 30s. for 1,000 superficial feet for one-half inch and 358. to 388. for five-eighth inch.
Staves arrive in the Tyne in bulk or loose, by sailing vessels. They should be clean cut and well manufactured in order to get tight joints, and as free from knots as possible.
The dimensions of the staves are 26, 27, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, and 38 inches long by one-half inch thick, and 40 and 42 inches long by fiveeighth inch thick, the breadth varying from 24 to 44 inches. Manufacturers of cement use the 26, 27, and 28 inch.
Swedish and Finland fir are the most desirable for staves.
The supply is doubtless greater than the demand; the latter is decreasing.
American shooks only are used here, the price being about 58. per shook.
The consumption of staves on the Tyne has declined in recent years, much of the soda crystals produced now being shipped in bags, and the manufacture of crystals is not so large as formerly. Sulphur is also shipped in bags, as well as large quantities of the cement. Several of the chemical works report having over a year's supply of staves on hand. Freight being low from the Baltic ports this market is kept well supplied, and the outlook does not appear to be favorable for successful competition with the above-named ports.
HORACE W. METCALF,
Consul. UNITED STATEL CONSULATE,
Newcastle-on-Tyne, May 14, 1891.
REPORT BY CONSUL FOLSON.
The quantity of staves used in Sheffield is quite limited, and it is hardly possible to ascertain their number or value. One of the reasons for this is that casks and barrels can be purchased cheaper in Burtonon-Trent (where large cooperage shops are located) than the cost of raw material and labor here in this district. The consumption of staves of all kinds in Sheffield does not probably exceed in value $24,332.50 per annum,
The staves known as crown memel oak, which are used chiefly for beer barrels, etc., are in greatest demand. Beech and ash staves are used to some extent in making barrels and casks used in the exportation of cutlery, steel wire, etc.; and frequently empty petroleum barrels of American manufacture are used for the same purpose.
The crown memel oak staves come from the Continent, the greater portion from the region of the Baltic. The beech and ash staves used here are procured from the neighboring county of Nottingham. The cost to the consumer of crown memel oak staves fluctuates somewhat with the supply and demand in the London market. The average price for these staves 6 feet long, 6 inches wide, and 3 inches stout, is $92.46 per 100. The cost of beech and ash staves per 100 in this district is as follows: 24 inches long.. $1.58 | 36 inches long...
$2.92 28 inches long2.07 40 inches long.
3.53 32 inches long.. 2. 61 44 inches long.
4. 14 These staves run from 31 to 4 inches wide, and are measured in bundles of 40 feet in circumference which are counted as 100 staves, although they may run from 120 to 130.
Oak staves should be delivered in lengths of 6 feet or thereabout, 6 inches wide, and 3 inches stout, squarely cut, and in a damp condition. Beech and ash staves should be made of sound, well seasoned timber, neatly and squarely cut in proper lengths for barrels and casks.
The memel oak staves run from 6 feet down to 17 inches in length, and 6 inches in width, and 3 inches stout. Beech and ash staves run from 31 to 4 inches wide, and from 24 to 44 inches in length.
The kind of timber most desirable for the particular kind of staves desired is oak for wet casks and ash for dry casks.
In this district for the reasons already stated the conditions of supply and demand vary but little; only a limited stock is carried for local consumption, and orders are executed in London, Hull, and Grimsby; the supply being always equal to the demand.
No American staves have been or are at the present time used in Sheffield.
The demand for staves for dry casks has greatly decreased and is fast dying out, as purchasers now use wooden boxes and tin-lined cases for the shipment of their wares.
Consul. UNITED STATES CONSULATE,
Sheffield, February 19, 1892.
REPORT BY OONSUL SPRAGUE. For many years past there has been no demand for the sale in this market for American or any other kind or description of staves.
The demand for them may now be considered as almost extinct,
Whatever is now required here in the shape of a cask or barrel in the cooperage line is fully supplied by using empty casks and barrels of various kinds and descriptions, which are constantly arriving here
from Spain, Portugal, France, and Germany, filled with wines and spirits, which, after being emptied of their contents by importers and retailers in these liquids, are disposed of by them to suit their convenience and requirements, fetching generally prices considerably under their original cost.
The German made casks, which are usually imported filled with alcohol, obtain the preference in sales on account of their careful make and the durability of the wood, which are a guard against possible leakage.
HORATIO J. SPRAGUE,
Consul. UNITED STATES CONSULATE.
Gibraltar, April 10, 1891.
CONTINENT OF AMERICA.
DOMINION OF CANADA.
REPORT BY CONSUL DENEEN. The approximate estimate of the number of staves used in this digtrict is 1,250,000, valued at $6,500.
The staves in greatest demand are for apple, flour, and cement bar. rels. About 2,500 white-oak barrels are required annually.
The source of supply of staves for apple and flour barrels is Hastings and Prince Edward countles, Ontario. White-oak staves are procured mostly from western Ontario. The cost of staves for apple and flour barrels to the consumer is $5 per 1,000; of white-oak staves, $15, $20, and $25 per 1,000, according to grade.
To give the most satisfaction and command the best price staves should be delivered dry and jointed in assorted packages.
The dimensions of the staves are: For apple and flour barrels, 31 inches long, 24 to 5 inches wide, and 4 inch thick; for whisky barrels, 33 inches long and 1 inch thick.
Staves for apple and flour barrels are made mostly from elm. Soft maple, black ash, and maple are also used. White oak is required for whisky barrels.
The staves for apple and flour barrels can be supplied in abundance from this district. Most of the white-oak staves are brought from western Ontario. No American staves are used here.
S. H. DENEEN,
Consul. UNITED STATES CONSULATE,
Belleville, April 8, 1891.
REPORT BY CONSUL MYERS, OF VICTORIA. The trade in staves and their consumption in British Columbia are so small as to be scarcely mentionable. Possibly a few staves were imported from California or Oregon twelve or fifteen years ago, but there have been none within that time. But little cooper work is done in the
province. There are two small shops in Victoria and one or two each in Vancouver and New Westminster. These confine themselves principally to repair work, and the material used in repairing is taken largely from whisky barrels and beer kegs imported with contents from the United States, Great Britain, and eastern Canada. Heads for these repaired vessels are sometimes made of British Columbia oak. No barrels are made from oak in the province, and no staves of that timber are used except those taken from imported barrels and kegs.
The new work consists of fish barrels for shipping seal skins to New York and London, and sugar barrels for the Vancouver refinery. In Victoria the number of fish barrels and half barrels depends on the season's catch of fish. The total will not exceed 1,200 per annum. The material used for a fish barrel is Douglas fir. The staves are easily obtained, as this timber abounds all over Vancouver Island. For barrels the staves are 274 inches long and 4 inches wide and cost $15 per 1,000 delivered. For half barrels they are 224 inches long and 3 inches broad, costing $12 per 1,000. It takes 18 pieces, staves and head, to make a barrel. About 800 or 1,000 barrels are made for exporting seal skins. The staves are of fir, 36 inches long, and cost $22 per 1,000 delivered. These barrels are made in Victoria. The sugar barrels made at Vancouver are of elm and are identical in size and appearance with the American sugar barrel. The material is evidently imported from eastern Canada and the barrels set up in Vancouver. I have not been able to ascertain the number put up there, but it is not large.
The outlook for a future market for staves here in Victoria is somewhat encouraging. There are at present seven small breweries here, and an effort is being made to buy them all up and concentrate the business in one large establishment. Should it prove a success beer kegs will be manufactured in such numbers as to make the stave business a matter of importance. At present no staves are imported from the United States.
LEVI W. MYERS,
Consul. UNITED STATES CONSULATE,
Victoria, June 12, 1891.
REPORT BY COMMERCIAL AGENT WEBSTER.
There are about 5,000,000 elm staves used in this district, except in the event of a large apple crop, when the amount is increased by 2,000,000 to 3,000,000.
The value of staves used may be estimated at from $15,000 to $25,000, according to the quantity of staves used for apple barrels.
There is also a large quantity of oak, pine, and ash staves used in