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cheerful, a farther advance must take place. The stock in the hands of the dealers must necessarily be small, and no supplies of any consequence can arrive before the months of Mayor June next. The crops in all the Windward and Leeward Islands must be very late ; and also, from different causes, must be below an average crop. In Jamaica, things wear a favourable aspect for the planter; but, on the whole, we anti. cipate a falling off in the importation of Sugar for this year, while we may fairly calculate upon an increased internal consumpt. The prices must, therefore, advance. The increased cultivation in Demerara and Berbice, will not make up for the deficiency that must arise in the crops of other islands, while the importations from the East Indies are by no means likely to increase.-Coffee. The market for this article continues to fluctuate, according to the advices from the Continent. Upon the whole, it may be stated as rather dull, and the prices a trifle lower. The stock in this country is very much reduced, but the demand for exportation has of late been much reduced also. The consumption, however, seems evidently to increase; but the cultivation of this article, in various parts of the world, is greatly extended, yet, it would not appear to be equal to the demand, while the late languor in the market may be attributed to the effects of the general stagnation of business in every part of the commercial world.-Cotton. The market for Cotton, after a little revival, is again become dull, and prices may be stated a shade lower. There have of late been very considerable arrivals from the United States, and more are daily expected. We cannot at present see from what quarter any considerable impulse is to come to advance the Cotton market, nor are we of opinion, that it can in future suffer much depreciation. Events, beyond the common course, must take place to do either, and there is at present no reason to calculate on these, at least to any extent. The quantity of East India Cotton still in the market is very considerable ; and as we proceed in our observations, it will be seen that this kind is not likely to be increas. ed. ---Corn. The market for grain of all descriptions, seems to have become more lively, but for what reason we are at a loss to conceive, unless it be that capitalists consider all kinds of it as below their proper level. They certainly are below what the farmer can afford to raise them at.-Rum has been more in demand. Since our last, considerable sales have been effected, but we cannot state at any material advance, while the market appears to be about to sink back to its former languid state. This article has, however, certainly seen the lowest value in the scale.--Geneva is very low in price, and the market languid.-In Brandy there is little doing, but this article has also seen its lowest, and we confidently anticipate an advance in price. The shippers from France are wearied in endeavouring to beat each other out of the market, which they have found a very unprofitable trade.—The Wine market is very dull, and inferior Wines are offered at reduced prices. There is, however, no prospect of any material reduction in the prices of fine old Port Wines, while, if disturbances extend and become general in Spain, it may have the effect of advancing the price of Sherries. The market for Indigo has become more lively, and it is probable, may continue so.-Tobacco also, we should conceive, is an article likely to advance in price. Since our last, as we anticipated, things have in general, in the commercial world, wore a more cheerful aspect than they have long done. Markets for most articles are become more firm, while sales in many can be effected; but we must add, without any considerable improvement in value. This steadiness also, we believe, is more the effect of restored confidence, and a conviction in the minds of the commercial capitalists, that all articles of commerce have seen their lowest point, and are at present below their proper value, than from any actual demand. We cannot at present see any opening of importance in foreign countries, nor do we anticipate any for some time to come. In the course of our further observations, the reasons will be given for this opinion; and till the foreign demand become extensive, we cannot expect the former briskness in our internal trade. Nevertheless, we firmly anticipate, from this time forward, a gradual and progressive amendment in all our commercial affairs, but we have yet some disastrous details to receive from distant foreign markets, where the scatterings of the mighty wreck are not yet all ascertained or collected.
At the commencement of another year, some observations and reflections, upon the commercial matters of the Last, become necessary. We observe, that the importation of Sugar for last year has increased. This increase, however, consists chiefly of East India Sugar. The total increase appears to be about 38,000 cases and bags. The imports from our West India colonies are very nearly equal, and amount to 280,000 casks. The consumpt is, however, materially decreased, and the export also considerably reduced, thus leaving the stock on hand greatly augmented. By turning to our Number for January last year, and comparing it with the Tables given in the present Number, our readers will see what the difference is. The Continent of Europe now receives supplies from the Colonies belongiig to the different States, and from India and the Brazils, and Cuba, where the cultivation is rapidly on the increase. The importation of Sugar at Amsterdam, in 1919, was=16,275 hhds. West India.
1,196 hhds. Brazil. 4,313 chests, Havannah. 6500000 packages from India in all, about 27,600,000 lbs
The importations at Havre, in France, for 1819, were,
20,050 Casks and tierces from West India colonies.
124 Casks from foreign colonies.
601 Chests Brazil.
20,800 Bags from the East Indies. The sales have kept pace with the importations. The stock on hand, of all kinds, is about 8,600 casks, bags, &c. The stock at Amsterdam is rather more than 8,000,000 lbs. one half of which are East India sugars, and this stock is 4,000,000 lbs. less than what it was the previous year. The stocks at Rotterdam are smaller, but at Antwerp larger than on the preceding year. The total supply in the Netherlands may be stated at the same as the commencement of 1819.
The importation of sugar at Calcutta, from the 1st January to the 15th September 1819, was 484,000 factory maunds. The quantity raised in the southwestern states of America is now considerable. The trade in refined sugar from Britain has declined, and continues to decline of late years. The amount manufactured at London was formerly 160,000, in 1819 it was only 120,000 hhds. Half of this was consumed in the country, and the remainder exported as under, viz. 28,000 hhds. to Baltic.
12,000 hhds. to Hamburgh. 15,000 do. Mediterranean. The importation of cotton into Great Britain has greatly decreased. The export is in. creased, as is also the consumpt, which are all particularly specified in the following tables. A great proportion of the stock on hand is East India, and this amounts to 270,653 bags. The quantity of this description of cotton, however, will certainly not be increased by large importations. The importers, we conceive, are cured of that ambition. The quantity of cotton imported into Calcutta, from the 1st January to the 15th September 1819, amounted to 221,949 bazar maunds. The number of bales exported to Great Britain for eight months, ending 31st August 1819, were 19,977 bales, while, for the corresponding period of 1818, there were 113,238 bags. The prices at the metropolis of British India were not, however, fallen in proportion to the depreciation in the European markets. The cotton there was bought up for the Chinese market. The crop of cotton in the United States is calculated to amount to 350,000 bales. The accounts of the cotton crops, in the Levant, are very favourable. The quantity of cotton imported at Amsterdam, during 1819, was 21,000 bags, and the stocks of all descriptions (including, Smyrna and Egyptian cotton) were estimated at 15,100 bags. A considerable demand is expected for the cotton from the Levant.
The consumpt of coffee is increasing greatly in the continent of Europe. The immense stocks accumulated in England during the war are now completely cleared away, while the importations from every quarter, though increased, do not glut the market. The import and consumpt are both increased in Great Britain, but the export for last year has decreased, as continental Europe appears to be supplied from other quarters. The importation of coffee into Amsterdam, during 1819, was 144,400 bags, and 6,030 hhds., equal to 21,500,000 lbs. At Havre the importation of this article, for the same period, was 55,000 quintals, direct from French and foreign colonies, and the sales of the year about 50,000 quintals. The stock on hand was estimated at 8,500 quintals. The Dutch are assiduously extending the cultivation of cotton in their eastern possessions. Java alone now yields 20,000,000 lbs. for the European market. It is calculated, that the whole stock of coffee remaining on hand at the beginning of this year, in British and continental ports, cannot exceed 38,000,000 lbs. which is about 33,000,000 of lbs. less than what remained on hand at the commencement of 1819.
From the reduction of duty, the consumpt of cocoa is increased in this country. The internal consumpt of tobacco, tea, wine, in quantity) and spirits, have also increased, which is rather a remarkable circumstance, considering the state of the country. There may, however, be causes which may render this increase more apparent than real. The imports of grain and flour into Great Britain have greatly decreased. The quantity of wheat in bond is 202,000 qrs.
The year 1819 may fairly be set down as the most disastrous in the commercial annals of Great Britain. The losses have been severe, and the depreciation of property very great. We do not overrate it at one-third on an average on all mercantile commodities. Whoever considers our extensive trade and manufactures, may readily form an idea of the vast loss and the great distress it must have occasioned. Many years will not (though crowned with prosperityy repair it. The causes which produced this sad crash are numetous, but the greatest and most destructive proceeded from the still more unfortunate situation of those foreign nations, with which we carried on the most extensive branches of our trade. Through them the blow returned upon this country with a force scarcely any power could withstand, or any prudence evade. The agitation of the bullion question last year, which occasioned a reduction of our circulating medium, did great mischief, and
rendered much more fatal those inevitable evils which were pressing forward against the
Blame has been attempted, by mischievous men, to be thrown on our government for these
We have said, that taking a view of the situation of those countries with which our chief commercial relations take place, we can see no room to hope for any extensive improvement in our foreign trade. Let us examine these more particularly, and in detail. For some time we made large exports to the Mediterranean, beginning, we may say, at the mouth of that sea, and gradually extending inwards along its shores. These markets were, however, soon glutted, and are now heavy and losing concerns. This might have been foreseen in some measure. In those markets nearest at hand, particularly along the western coasts of Italy, and all the coasts of European Turkey, and the isles of the Archipelago, and the western coasts of Asia Minor, the merchants and merchandize of France come into competition with ours, and, in many instances, are decidedly preferred. We must, therefore, be compelled, in following out that trade, to seek for markets in more remote corners of that sea, either in its northern, southern, and eastern shores, and where, as we recede further from European influence, manners, and customs, the markets are more liable to be glutted, and trade is every way more insecure. In all the ports and places in the eastern parts of the Mediterranean, a trade may be opened up, and gradually extended ; but every one who will take the pains to consider the situation and character of the nations and countries on its African or Asiatic shores, must see, that under present circumstances, this trade must be small, easily overdone, and can only increase by slow degrees. The terror of our arms may benefit our interests along the northern shores of Africa, but that must take time ; and while mankind there remain under their present institutions, all trade with them must be limited, and by no means perfectly secure.
Similar prospects lie before us in the East Indies. We cannot change the customs and pursuits of nations in a day, and till we can change these completely, we cannot anticipate any wide consumpt for our manufactures in that portion of Asia. Any premature attempt to effect such a change in sentiments, manners, and customs, may terminate in a moment our empire in the east
. The improvement of our trade with India, that is, the opening up of a new market there for the manufactures of Great Britain, must be the work of time ; but, at the same time, as matters now stand, this trade, under judicious regulations and management, ought always to be on the increase. It is a trade that will not be forced. It is one which, at present, is a losing concern to all engaged in it, and its state may best be shewn by merely stating, that from the 1st January to 31st August 1818, there were despatched from Calcutta to Britain 54 ships measuring 24,510 tons, while in the same period last year only 27 vessels, measuring 9,512 wns, could obtain freights, and these at a rate which could never pay. The same objections, and, perhaps,
even with greater force, apply to the Chinese markets, were these laid open to-morrow. With these countries we may look for a gradual improvement and extension of trade, but nothing immediately great or extensive can be expected. Under present circumstances, these places must always be easily and speedily glutted with European goods,
Turning our eyes to the southern division of the western world, the prospect is equally discouraging. There we see a Continent, but thinly peopled, engaged in a civil war ; in many places the savage armed against civilized life; and in every place, peace and security wanting ; the cultivation of the country neglected or destroyed ; and the sinews of trade forced into the vortex of war. Such is the prospect, and to it there is no immediate prospect of a termination ; on the contrary, if Spain is forced to relinquish her dominion over these extensive countries, there is a certain prospect of the people quarreling amongst themselves, and kindling up a contest more fatal and more destructive than that in which they are at present engaged. Whatever is the issue of the present contest, we cannot see any room for great improvement in our trade with these places. It will be found at all times a trade easily overdone, from the small number of inhabitants, and the nature of their manners, customs, and pursuits. If the Independents succeed, the trade must be thrown open to the world, and it is a fact, that the manufactures of Germany would, in South America, command a preference over ours. If Spain is successful, she will look for securing that trade to herself; or where she may be forced to adopt more liberal principles, other nations will be admitted to share that business with us. In the mean time, the swarms of adventurers which the contest has drawn to that quarter of the world, the system of piracy to which it has given rise, with the convulsed state of these countries, has almost annihilated the trade which our merchants in Jamaica carried on across the Isthmus of Darien to Peri and Chili on the south, and to Mexico and California on the north, and, we greatly fear, that the Jamaica trade is gone for ever from that island. Our trade with the Brazils may continue to improve, but from the nature of the population and government there established, it is obvious that the increase must be slow, and that other nations will come in with us for a share of it. Many of the provinces of Spanish America are so desolated, that were peace established at this moment, years must elapse before any considerable and advantageous commerce could be carried on with them.
Our prospects in the United States, though not of that troubled and unsettled kind, are nevertheless at present far from being encouraging. We cannot have the same extended trade with these states that we have had. The markets there have been ruinous and destructive in the highest degree. The cause seems obvious. The imports of any nation must, in some measure, be regulated by their exports. The balance may be against them in one instance, but it cannot be so in others, in order to enable them to carry on trade at all. The balance must be in their favours, or they must lose and become poor. Before her late war with England, and before she put her embargo laws in force, when she had the carrying trade of Europe, the tonnage employed in the trade of the American States was 1,500,000 tons, and the value of their exports nearly 102,000,000 of dollars. If we allow 36,000,000 dollars as the value of her freights, we have the whole export trade of the United States, at that time at 138,000,000 dollars. The value of her exports for last year was only 52,000,000 dollars ; and if we allow a similar proportion for the freight of her tonnage, or 18,000,000 dollars, we have 70,000,000 dollars as the value of the whole export trade of the United States. In her exports, therefore, there is a falling off of 68,000,000 dollars, or almost one half. It is plain, that she cannot afford to import at the rate she formerly did ; and that, if these imports have, as we believe they have, (if not to a greater amount) been forced upon her in the former degree, then the markets must have been over-supplied, at least one half; and consequently the merchant must have been forced to make sales (even where these sales could be effected) at a still greater depreciation. The consequences must be, that he who was deeply engaged in that trade, and, 18 months ago, was worth an independent fortune, must now be unable to pay his debts, and find himself reduced from affluence to dependence.
The trade which the United States have thus lost they can never regain. After the present dreadful shock, the exertions of their free population, and their own internal resources, will, no doubt, increase and expand; but it is evident that this must be progressive, and the work of time; and consequently, that all in provement in her import trade must go on in a corresponding manner, even where their enactments to encourage their internal manufactures and trade do not interfere with the imports from foreign nations, and by this mode enibarass and reduce the demand for these. The severest blow American commerce has sustained is the loss of the supplies formerly carried to our West India colonies. These were very great-gave employment to a great proportion of her tonnage-and af. forded her specie to go into the East India and Chinese markets upon the most advantageous terms. That trade is completely gone. Our North American colonies are now reaping the fruits of that trade which the wisdom of our government has bestowod upon thein. Accordingly, it is pleasing to observe the improvement of their trade since the United States were prohibited, and prohibited themselves, from supplying our West India colonies. We subjoin, in proof, the trade of Quebec in those branches thereof connect with the West Indies, and for the years undermentioned. Vol. VI.
1,803 Feet Deal,
124,197 1,181,877 Staves and Heading,
764,407 2,579,539 Deal ends,
102,834 Masts and Spars,
9,262 This account was made out to 4th November last year, while 50 ships remained to clear out with cargoes, in the same trade, before the close of 1819, which must greatly add to the above amount. From these and similar reasons, it appears to us, that the United States cannot afford to receive the same quantity of imports ; and that those who calculate upon supplying her markets with European, and more particularly with British manufactures, to the same degree as formerly, must only accelerate their own ruin, and embarass and distress her in all her rising manufactures. Of the exports of the United States, we may add, that 26,908,038 dollars goes to Great Britain and her dependencies, consequently it is their interest to remain on friendly terms with us.
With the countries and places which we have enumerated, the chance of any rapid increase of our trade is therefore small indeed. It certainly will increase; but it must be by gradual and slow degrees, and not in a ratio equal to what we have supplied, or can afford to supply. European influence must continue to increase in the Mediterranean, and consequently European trade, a large share of which we certainly have the best chance to obtain. 'Sanguine hopes were entertained of a great outlet to our manufactures, by a free trade with France. But even if France were to grant us a reciprocity in trade, (which she will not) there are various reasons which lead us to believe, that the advantages to our manufactures would not be equal to what is at present anticipated. It seems to be a question, whether the introduction of their silks, and other articles, amongst us, might not decrease the consumpt of the finer articles of our Cotton Manufactures, in a way that would entirely overbalance every advantage likely to be gained by us. All the nations of continental Europe will, most assuredly, endeavour to encourage their own internal trade and manufactures, in place of those of foreign countries. Of this we can have no just reason to complain, and our merchants and manufacturers would do well to bear this in mind, and act accordingly. We have two serious things to contend against, and these are, the poverty of other nations, and the industry and skill of other nations. The first must force them to lessen their expenditure for foreign commodities ; and the next, to render themselves indepen. dent of foreign supply. We may attempt to contend against one or both, and particularly the latter ; but we will find it a dangerous and a hopeless contest, and one which, if persevered in, we will throw away all the profits of those years of industry and activity, in which we had almost exclusively the trade of the civilized world. We fear also, that British manufactures, in many instances, have suffered, from more attention being paid to quantity than to quality—to cheapness than to durability.
With all these disadvantages and drawbacks, however, which we have enumerated, still there is no serious ground for despondence or alarm. Great Britain has, in her own posses. sions, a wide and a valuable field. A great portion of the trade of almost all nations, must, in defiance of every competitor, still remain hers. The only thing that is requisite, is to regulate her manufactures in a judicious manner, so that at no period they may become overdone or misdirected. There are many markets in the world yet to be opened, and which can be opened to our commerce. Masters of the ocean, we can gain access into every country, and to every land. A vast field is certainly to be found amongst the fine islands in the Eastern Archipelago ; in Tonquin and Cochin China ; along the vast stream of the Irrawady, Eastern Asia, and the islands in the Southern Ocean. It is true, for a time much of this trade must be carried on by barter, betwixt place and place, island and island, bringing ultimately such part of the produce of each to the European market, as may suit or sell to advantage in it. Still this would be a valuable and a profitable trade, and one in which we might disperse all our coarser manufactures to advantage. There is a great field open in the Persian Gulf, and all along the south west coast of Arabia ; and both shores of the Red Sea, and all the eastern coast of Africa, once famous in the annals of commerce. The possession of Suakim and Massowah on the west shores of the Red Sea, would lay open the whole trade to Abyssinia ; a country which, from being highly civilized and powerful, is become in some measure barbarous and unchristianized, from being cut off from the Christian world, by these two ports being in possession of its ignorant and inveterate enemies the Turks. A small British force would secure them—a small force maintain them—and a little exertion might obtain from the Turkish government their cession to this country, as they are scarcely of any use to the Sublime