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Sugar. Since our last, the demand for Sugar has increased, and the prices have ace cordingly advanced. The sales at the different outports have been very considerable, and the deliveries from the warehouses in London have of late been extensive. The prices of Low Browns are, however, still very low, and at least 10s. per cwt. below the price at which the planter can afford to sell them. The finer qualities are more in demand. The price of Sugar, since it was at the lowest pitch, may be stated to have advanced 7s. or 8s. per cwt, ; and as affairs in the commercial world become more settled and
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 May or 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 calar late 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 it duced, but the demand for exportation has of late been much reduced also. The colle sumption, 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.-Colton, 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 consi derable 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 increased. ---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 car 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, howers, 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 uop fitable 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 mort 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 a neral, in the commercial world, wore a more cheerful aspect than they have long des Markets for most articles are become more firm, while sales in many can be effected; best we must add, without any considerable improvement in value. This steadiness also, *? 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 eign demand become extensive, we cannot expect abe former briskness in our internal trade. Nevertheless, we firmly anticipate, from this biex forward, a gradual and progressive amendment in all our commercial affairs, but we har yet some disastrous details to receive from distant foreign markets, where the scatteries 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 importatina et 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 redunt
, 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, er seaders will see what the difference is. The Continent of Europe now receives up plies from the Colonies belonging to the different States, and from India and the Branka and Cuba, where the cultivation is rapidly on the increase. The importation of Sugar di Amsterdam, in 1919, was=15,275 hhds. West India.
1,196 hhds. Brazil.
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 importation of sugar at Calcutta, from the 1st January to the 15th September
12,000 hhds, to Hamburgh.
10,000 do. Bremen, &c. 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 rumber 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 stook' 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 prosperity) repair it. The causes which produced this sad crash are numerous, but the greatest and most destructive proceeded from the still more unfortunate si. tuation 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 commercial world. The unbounded spirit of speculation in this country—the rashness and ignorance displayed in the search of a market--and the distressed state of almost every
nation, from a war of unprecedented length, ferocity, destruction, and expense, all conspired to hasten a catastrophe such as the commercial world had never witnessed, and will not soon forget. In our former reports we have entered so fully into these matters, that we consider it perfectly unnecessary to enlarge upon them here. If experience from the past be allowed to direct us for the future, Great Britain yet possesses the energies, resources, capital, and skill, which will soon heal her commercial wounds, and raise her triumphant over all her difficulties. We must, however, look to some other quarters and places of the world than those to which we have hitherto been accustomed to look, for whatever great relief and advantage we may wish for and anticipate.
Blame has been attempted, by mischievous men, to be thrown on our government for these misfortunes, and to represent them as having been caused by their errors. The great cause and root of the evil lay beyond their powers to prevent or control. The same has been the case in every country: No doubt the bullion question did mischief, being agitated at that particular moment when the alarm it occasioned was sure to render the consequences more fatal. The Bank of England have reduced the circulation of their notes from 28 millions to 22 millions. We may fairly set down the diminution of the paper of the country banks (20 millions) in an equal degree. This will give 10} half millions as the reduction of our circulating medium, which must have greatly added to the commercial pressure and distress. This reduction amounts to nearly one-fifth of the whole çir. culating medium. Our exports last year fell off about 17 millions ; but we are not to suppose that they fell off equal in quantity ; for it must be recollected, that the estimated value was greatly less. The total exports for 1818 amounted to 56 millions. The falling off, therefore, of 17 millions last year was nearly a third upon the whole ; but if we take into consideration the reduction of price, we may suppose the falling off of our exports in quantity were equal to a fourth from the preceding year, which, however, was unusually and ruinously large. By the reduction of our circulating medium, the national debt must become a greater and heavier burden ; for as money becomes scarce and more valuable, so much the heavier will the annual interest of this debt press upon the country and her re
In fact, it is the same thing as raising the rate of interest to a higher rate. This is a subject which demands the deepest attention and consideration of our government. However much we reduce our circulating medium, in the same proportion we raise the value of the interest of our national debt, and so the value of that debt itself.
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 Archipela. go, 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 tons, could obtain freights, and these at a rate which could never pay. The same objections, and, perhaps,