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land, and the commercial interests hung in a great degree upon those credits based upon the value of money in London, the state of the English harvest was matter of great solicitude. A bad harvest was the cause of unalloyed evil, be" cause the sudden operations of the sliding scale threw into the hands of European dealers the supply of the deficient grain. In the past two or three years, however, elements have been called into existence which have materially changed the connection with, and influence of the English harvest upon commercial credits. These have been, the growing up of a reciprocal trade between England and corngrowing countries, by means of which the demand for specie has been so far changed, that a great influx of the precious metals into England has taken place simultaneously with an extended import of food. 2d. Events have materially curtailed the dependence of the American import trade upon English credits: 3d. The modification of the corn laws has insured a continuance in England of low prices for food, on which the health of the home market depends, while it has operated, conjointly with the increase of the consumption of food on the contiment, to throw the supply of the English deficits upon the United States. In formeryears, a short harvest in England caused a sudden pressure upon all the commercial and financial affairs of the Union, a fall in cotton, and serious losses to the planters, checking the whole internal trade of the Union, without offering any advantage to offset these evils. Under the modified laws, the effect now is only to enhance for American farm produce a demand sufficient to insure a continuance of low prices in England, and uninterrupted health of the English home trade, sustaining an undiminished demand for cotton, by which prices are supported. That is to say, the export of several millions of farm produce from the Western States, saves to the southern planters several millions in the value of their cotton. A short harvest in England, although a calamity to the world, becomes, therefore, a special benefit to the United States. The new harvests of the United States are about to come forward this year to supply the deficit. The cotton crop of the United States is estimated as a short one. Some have placed it as low as 1,600,000 bales, on account of the lateness of the season, and the appearance of the army and boll-worms attacking the plant at a much earlier period of its age than usual. These accounts are, however, always to be received with the greatest caution, and the product may not, including Texas, fall below 2,000,000 bales. Symptoms of speculation, based upon the short crops, have made their appearance, but checked by the state of the harvest in England, the effect of which has heretofore been to diminish consumption. The fearful lesson taught by the year 1839, has yet its influence upon the trade. The example of the speculations of Vincent Nolte is yet before the eyes of many dealers. That remarkable person described in a circular under date of September, 1839, the state of the cotton market, as follows:– “After eighteen years of successive and uninterrupted increase in the consumption of cotton, a sudden decline, to the extent of 30 per cent, and equally sudden rise of the value of money, from 33 to 10 and 12 per cent, protected by a most precipitate and unexpected abolition of the act against usury—all this in the short space of four or five months, are events which no human forecast could have embraced in the most exaggerated anticipations of possible contingencies.” These were, however, the natural and legitimate effects of a sudden failure of the English harvest, heightened in effect by the extent of that failure. When, in
the fall of 1838, the estimates of the short crop of 1838-9 began to excite speculation, six years had elapsed since any considerable importations of grain had been made into England, and sufficient consideration was by no means paid to the effects of a serious deficiency in the harvest. The year 1839 proved to be one of the largest imports of grain ever known, and hence that great diminution in the consumption of cotton which Mr. Nolte estimated at 30 per cent. The immense sums of specie sent out of the country for payment, produced a financial crisis which was felt in every country where credit had become an instrument of commerce. The influence of this disastrous harvest upon the cotton crop, had not been duly estimated by those whose operations in cotton reached so ruinous a magnitude. It is probable that under the new state of things such an event could never occur again—so large a demand for food could never again fall so suddenly on markets requiring gold only in payment-nor could a deficient crop affect the consumption of goods to so disastrous an extent. The development of the agricultural resources of the United States, which had then been checked by several years of extraordinary speculation, has since progressed in a most unparalleled manner, and is susceptible of an almost limitless extension. The highest authority of the West, states that wheat can be delivered in sacks, on the borders of the great lakes, at 16 cents per bushel, which would make a price of 40 cents in New York, or, allowing a large margin, 50 cents per bushel free on board, which would be equal to 19s. sterling per quarter, and this in quantities which can scarcely be limited. The price at Odessa has not been less than 23s, per quarter, during the past year, and has been as high as 35s. The average in the north of Europe has been 45s., or $1 20 cents per bushel. One of the most remarkable instances of the effect of demand upon supply, was seen last year in the receipts of flour and wheat, expressed in barrels of flour, at tide-water on the Hudson, as follows: ARRIVAL OF FLOUR AND WHEAT AT TIDE-WATER, AND VALUE IN NEW YORK, MONTHLY, EX
Total,... 2,527,866 $4 44 $11,214,862 2,927,569 $5 58 $16,153,124 Up to the close of September, it will be observed, the quantity brought down on the canals was less than in the previous year, and that was taken as prima facie evidence of diminished production, when, in fact, it grew entirely out of the indisposition to forward, at low prices, to a limited market. In September, the English news produced excitement, and immediately the receipts began to swell, until in November they were double those of the same month in the previous year. The high price called forth immense quantities that were not supposed to exist. The New York market has been active since January. The following is a table of the monthly exports of bread-stuffs from the port of New York, with the prices of flour :
EXPORT OF BREAD-STUFFS FROM THE PORT OF NEW YORK.
bush. bush. bbls. 13,370 13,316 $4 87 46,591 112,607 69,613 $5 623 7,247 6,388 4 871
9,276 201,220 41,153 5 50 18,703 14,656 4 75 25,813 10,581 37,152 5 50 1,600 20,084 17,122 4 68 64,339 17,444 64,497 5 37
6,672 24,781 4 62: 51,053 92,756 70,633 4 50
7,190 27,351 4 68 125,816 95,089 131,027 4 06 3,902 4,702 21,495 4 31 100,780 26,259 102,550 4 18
400 6,118 50,272 4 75$ 99,664 7,231 77,586 4 00
Total,...... 5,902 84,086 175,381
523,332 563,187 594,211 Increase...
517,430 479,101 418,830 The exports of flour alone, are near $2,000,000 in value, in excess of the same period last year; and in September, a renewed activity in the export demand advanced prices to $4 50 a $5. Notwithstanding the large receipts that have already come forward, it is highly probable that a rise in prices this fall may stimulate a much farther increase in the volume of the supply before the closing of the canals. The export of flour from New Orleans to foreign ports, has increased 220,000 barrels over last
year, and of corn, 540,000 bushels. These large and increasing exports of produce must add wealth to the Western States, not only by the direct amount of the sales, but by the enhanced value of the whole production caused by sending so great a surplus out of the market. The trade is getting into a current, which must run broader and deeper, with increasing volume, from year to year. The southern and western interests come thus mutually to support each other in the foreign trade, and the increased prosperity of both is the guarantee of a renewed impulse to manufacturing industry.
In the aspect of affairs for the future, there appears nothing in view to check a season of most unexampled commercial prosperity, with the exception of political affairs growing out of the Mexican war. This unhappy strife, and the uncertainty which attends its duration, hangs like an incubus over the market, para. lyzing enterprise, and retarding the growth of commercial confidence. Its influence has been manifest upon the movements of the New York banks, in a curtailment of their credits, as indicated in the quarterly returns as follows :
IMMEDIATE MEANS AND LIABILITIES OF THE NEW YORK BANKS. Immediate liab's. Nov., 1843. Aug., 1814. Feh., 1845. Nov., 1845. Feb., 1846. May 1846. Aug., 1816. Deposits,..... $77.390.160 $2,757,122 $23,976,246 $31.773,991 999,054.401 830.868 337 $28, 110,553 Nettcirculation... 12.9.52.045 13,349 205 16.126,394 19 366 377 18,407,733 18 409,977 15.537,495 Due banks...
4 941.414 7,744,118 3 816,252 3,296 249 4,609,073 2.973,658 5,266,583 Canal Fund,...... 1,157,203 1.210.794 1,607.572 1.581.330 896.&43 646,328 433,715 United States, 1,645,320 3,674,171 700,064 3.002.649 2.320.711 3,493,622 2,115,640
$48,076,142 $56,735,410 $48, 226,528 $59,020,596 $56,201,761 $56,391,962 $51,463,916
Total,..... Immediate means. Specie,.......... Cash items,.......
$11,502 789 $10,161.974 $6,893.236 $8.884,545 88,361,383 $2.361.383 88 673,309
3,102,856 4,916,862 4,839,886 5,947,585 6,370,302 5 839,700 4,941,221
71.643.99 66.883.098 74.780 135 71,897.580 72,591 431
814,605,645 $15,108.836 $11,733,120 $14.732. 120 $14.731.685 $14,011 324 $13.614,530 Loans, Excess of liability, 33,479,607 41,626,574 36,493,406 44,188,476 41,470,071 42,380,678 37,849,386
The loans of these institutions have greatly diminished since May, contrary to the usual course of affairs, which is, to expand from May to August. The continued diminution of the government deposits under the war expenditure, and the increased caution of capitalists consequent upon the apprehensions necessarily growing out of a state of hostilities, have tended to diminish credits. The
imports into the city of New York, monthly, since April, have been as follows, with the amount of duty paid :
IMPORTS AND DUTIES, PORT OF NEW YORK.
Total. Duties. May..........
$4,160,360 $1,300,751 $27,286 $5,488,397 $1,277,227 June,..
4,605,527 1,239,006 29,122 5,873,655 1,471,124 July,
5,411,595 729,235 54,879 6,195,709 1,651,652 August,
7,585,427 826,815 44,882 8,457,124 2,183,733
Total 4 mos., 1846,... $21,763,909 $4,095,807 $156,169 $26,004,885 $6,583,736
1845,... 21,695,020 4,535,609 375,525 27,516,181 7,342,246
1844,... 26,970,659 4,297,247 565,230 · 31,833,136 8,951,190 This table presents a marked diminution in the imports of dutiable goods, and the revenues derivable therefrom. Under the same tariff, the decrease is near $2,500,000 in one-third of a year. The duties for August, 1844, were, however, the largest ever known in one month, having been over $3,000,000. The large imports of 1844 were probably the consequence of the very small business done in 1843. Notwithstanding the diminished amount of imported goods, the prices are low, and sales moderate at those low prices. A strong impression seemed to prevail, that the operation of the new tariff after December would cause a great reduction in prices, and therefore a disposition to buy only from “ hand to mouth” was apparent. Most of the goods imported go to warehouse, to remain until reieased under the modified taxes of the new tariff, in December. The usual disposition to ship goods entitled to drawback, with a view to their re-entry under the low taxes, which always manifests itself on the eve of the operation of a modified law, was checked by a treasury circular declaring such an operation as a fraud upon the revenue. This naturally caused a good deal of dissatisfaction in the mercantile community. The object of the department was undoubtedly to save as much of the revenue as possible; but it is exceedingly difficult to reconcile this attempt with the policy that allowed the warehouse law to take effect before the new tariff. Nearly all the goods that arrive, paying high duties under the present tariff, go into warehouse to avail themselves of the reduction under the new law. Many of these goods were ordered before the passage of the bill, and why a distinction is drawn between those goods which arrive, and those that were already in the country, it is not easy to see. If goods, as sugars, for instance, ordered under high duties, are allowed to be warehoused for the benefit of low duties, why should not goods, already here, be allowed to be re-exported for the same object ? It is not probable that the difference in duty between the new and old law is sufficient to make it an object to pay freight, insurance, demurrage, and expenses on two passages, for the sake of the difference. The extent to which the warehousing privilege was availed of, in the latter part of August, is indicated in the fact, that the imports of dutiable goods were actually but 6 per cent less in August than in the same month last year, while the duties were 20 per cent less>that is to say, the duties collected in August, 1845, were 34 per cent of the dutiable imports, and in 1846, they were 28 per cent—a decline of 6 per cent in the average, owing to the quantity of imported goods that went into warehouse after that act took effect.
In relation to the crop of cotton of the United States, during the past year, we annex the annual tables, compiled by the senior partner of the firm of Wright & Lewin, cotton dealers, New York :
STATEMENT SHOWING THE WEEKLY AND TOTAL RECEIPTS OF COTTON INTO THE PRINCIPAL PORTS OF THE UNITED STATES, FROM SEPT. 1, 1845, TO AUG. 31, 1846.
Weekly Grand Date.
N. Orleans. Mobile. Florida. Georgia. S. Car. N. Car. total. total. 1845. Sept. 6, 6,885 738
1,086 614 709 10,032 10,032 13, 10,969 495
132 13,048 23,080 20, 16,067 496
333 2,477 260 19,633 42,713 27, 16,730 488
374 2,050 59 19,701 62,414
121,260 100,101 29,292 22,156 34,304
84,555 1,043,179 75,719 1,118,898 69,824 1,188,722 82,396 1,271,118
Total Feb., 145,151
94,146 21,332 23,370 27,532
116 106 328 375
68,783 1,336,906 82,871 1,419,777 68,371 1,488,148 67,531 1,555,679
Tot. March, 153,085 53,166 27,308 27,107 22,970
Total April, 133,573 29,416 18,832 19,776 23,501 1,496 226,594