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excess of the amount consumed at the North during the like interval. All the leading centres of cotton manufacture at the South report more or less important additions to spindles during 1911-1912, greatest progress being shown, as heretofore, in the Carolinas and Georgia. Some new factories have begun operations very recently, others are nearing completion, and on still others work is yet in the initial stages.
The following is a record of Southern mill capacity and operation :
410.668 399,168 8.346 18 85,236 481.73 41.057.586 3,431.265 3,351.833 56,027 21 850,453 469.59 399,465,549 4,326,200 4.166.125 100.429
747,515 479.25 358.249,237 2,035,279 1,920,287 36,471
591,231 482.90 285,504,498
NOTE.-Much new machinery has been put in operation within the past few months, increasing the number of spindles appreciably without affecting consumption to a material extent. These returns include consumption of foreign cotton by the mills.
These returns indicate an increase in the volume of consumption in almost every state, with the gain over 1910-1911 greatest in North Carolina, which continues to be the leading state in amount of raw material used if not in the number of spindles. The net result for the season in the aggregate for the Southern States is an augmentation in consumption of 366,390 bales, or 183,715,749 pounds, leaving the 1911-1912 total 2,736,217 bales, which compares with approximately 2,617,305 bales at the North or an excess for the newer field of 118,912 bales. The reports from the South, when gone over in detail denote that twelve old mills, with 46,468 spindles, have retired from business, and twenty-two mills, containing 299,940 spindles have started up since August 31, 1911, making a net gain of ten mills, or 253,472 spindles, during the season. The full extension of capacity in 1911-1912 does not, however, find expression in that total, for the equipment of old mills was increased to the extent of 220,204 spindles. The total net gain for the season was, therefore, 473,676 spindles. A further extension of the cotton-manufacturing industry at the South is assured.
Foreign Conditions.—The beneficial effect upon the cotton industry of the world, and particularly of Europe, of the big crop coming, as it did, into markets almost entirely depleted of both the raw material and manufactures by two successive seasons of abnormally short crops, can hardly be overstated. Its effect upon prices was such that from
eight pence, which had ruled toward the close of the preceding season, middling was selling in Liverpool below five pence per pound before the end of December.
The demand for yarn and cloth, so long held in check by prohibitive prices, set in in unprecedented volume, and before the close of 1911 both spinrers and manufacturers were under orders to their utmost capacity for the remainder of the season, while in numerous instances contracts had been entered into for 1912-1913 and in some instances as far ahead as 1914. And to this almost insatiable offtake for forward delivery by the distributing markets may be attributed the surprising ease with which the greatest crop by far on record has been disposed of, not only without correspondingly low prices, but with a steady appreciation of values since December to almost the highest rates touched in the preceding short-crop seasons.
The exceptionally low average grade of the crop has materially benefitted Continental Europe, where producers, owing to the comparative failure of the East Indian crop, were to a great extent dependent upon the supply of low grade American cotton, and the takings of which form a large proportion of this season's enormous exports from United States ports to the Continent, which have totaled over five and a half millions of bales. These takings, however, must not be confused with actual consumption for the year, which, while undoubtedly very large, will leave a surplus held over against commitments, extending, as before mentioned, very far ahead, that must be taken as an important factor in determining next season's requirements of the American growth.
The only menaces to a year of unexampled prosperity in the cotton trade of Great Britain were afforded by the lockout of spinners at the close of 1911 and the great coal strike, which closed every pit in the country from the end of February to the middle of April. Yet, fatal as either of these might easily have proved in an ordinary season such was the extraordinary insistence of demand upon both spindles and looms that the difficulty with the spinners was overcome in ten days, and, notwithstanding the fact that coal rose in price some 300 per cent., not a spindle or loom in Lancashire ceased working.
Never before in the history of the trade has Lancashire experienced a demand which apparently had no limit and at prices which, at any rate so far as manufacturers were concerned, insured margins which have made the season's working, beyond question, the most profitable on record. Spinning results, while on the whole decidedly above the average, have suffered through the comparatively excessive increase in spindles during the past five years, which has placed the yarn market at all times in a vulnerable position, of which manufacturers have not been slow to take advantage.
The countries which have contributed mainly to the increase in exports have been India, Turkey, Roumania, British West Africa and Cuba. China, owing to the revolution, has been a somewhat restricted customer, but, internal troubles notwithstanding, has taken about an average of the past three years. That the output of British looms shows such great expansion during the last few years is due to
the widespread demand for the higher grade piece goods, in the production of which Great Britain still maintains her supremacy and is now reaping the reward of years of study of artistic and scientific processes involved in the production of dyed goods in which France had threatened to oust her from many of the most important markets.
The British Cotton Growing Association continues active in its promotion of the growth of cotton in Africa. The purchase of cotton in Lagos this season amounted to 8,634 bales, against 5,129 for the same period last year and -5,22.) in 1910. Northern Nigeria contributes 2,23.5 bales and Uganda 21,000 bales of 400 lbs. each. The promise of the British Government of a luan of half a million sterling to British East Africa and the Uganda Protectorate will doubtless be largely utilized in the construction of roads, and thus stimulate the cotton-growing industry, which suffers greatly from lack of transportation facilities. In Nyassaland it is reported that arrangements are now complete for the extension of the railway from Port Herald to Beira, which will greatly benefit the cotton-growing lands.
In Germany there has been a marked improvement in the condition of the industry as compared with the previous two seasons. In Austria the depression in the industry, which lasted for some years, came to an end when the decline in cotton enabled mills to enter into large contracts for long terms of delivery on a profitable basis. In France, while an improvement has taken place, the working results still leave much to be desired. At the end of the year there was a revival in the demand and spinners were able to make contracts. ahead at profitable prices ; but many orders were prompted more by the lower prices than requirements, the home demand being restricted owing to the high cost of living, and unfortunately many orders were booked through commission dealers, who took their delivery tardily or not at all, so that mills have not been able to realize the profits made on paper. In Russia, due to last season's bad cereal crops and the famine which resulted in many districts, the course of business was for the most part dragging and unsatisfactory. Spinners generally worked full time, but printers and dyers were obliged to restrict.
THE WORLD'S ANNUAL COTTON CONSUMPTION.
COUNTRIES. Great Britain...... ('ontinent...
1909-1910. 1908-1909. Bales.
Bales. 4,160.000 5,720.000
Total Europe........ United States-Worth...
Total l' nited States.....
Total world ......... Alerage prihly .........
The world's total consumption for 1911-1912, it will be noticed, records an appreciable increase over the total for a year ago-1,626,281 bales—and is 2,238,202 bales more than the result for 1909-1910. A new high record in consumption has, in fact, been set. The sources from which cotton has been drawn in each of the last four years are stated in the following table of the world's commercial crops, in bales of the uniform weight of 500 pounds net each.
World's PRODUCTION OF COTTON.
1911-12. 1910-11. 1909-10. 1908-09. 1907-08.
Bules Balea. Bales. Bales. Bales. 15,722.487 11,852.412 10,267,526 13,540.890 11.257,538 3,000.000 3.235,719 3.788.6132.976.82 2,186.629 1.110,000 1,461.383 938.001 1.246.150 1.132.469 350.000 112.616 291,991 266,197 299.000
The above statement indicates the world's supply of cotton (not including that from Russia) in each of the five years, the amount consumed and also the extent to which visible and invisible stocks were augmented or diminished. It will naturally be remarked how largely the surplus supply was increased last year as a result of the largely increased yield in the United States.
The augmentation of the spinning capacity of the world has been only moderate the past season. The most important change has been on the Continent of Europe, where an addition of 500,000 spindles has occurred, the total standing now at a little over eleven million spindles. The increase in Europe has been about equally divided between Great Britain and the Continent. The following is a compilation for the world.
* Includes India's exports to Europe, America and Japan and mill consumption in India. increased or decreased by excess or loss of stock at Bombay.
+ Receipts into Europe from Brazil, Smyrna, Peru, West Indies, &c., and Japan and China cotton used in Japanese mills.
Deticiency in the year's new supply.
The estimates furnished by Messrs. Ellison & FARRIE for Great Britain and the Continent, are used revising previous years' figures from later obtained information. The results for the United States are obtained from The Commerical and Financial Chronicle. Those for India are taken from the official reports of the Bombay Mill-Owners' Association, except that the latest total is an approximation. Japan's aggregates are officially communicated, China's figures are compiled from consular reports and for Canada and Mexico the totals are in part estimated.
The following total furnishes a comprehensive idea of the extent and the expansion of this industry. It discloses the world's cotton supply and the sources of it. The special points sought to illustrate by the statements are, first, the relative contribution to the world's raw material by the United States and by other sources, and second, to follow its distribution. Beginning with 1896-1897, the figures of visible supply include Alexandria and Bombay stocks.
WORLD'S SUPPLY AND DISTRIBUTION OF Cotton.
Invisible 500 lb. Supply bales.
Year. States. 1896-1897.... 1.931.000 8,435,868 1897-1898.... 1.923,636 10,890,000 1898-1899.... 3,241,158 11.078,000 1899-1900.... 3,999,364 9,137,000 1900-1901. 2,456A89 10,218,000 1901-1902.... 2,673,027 10,380,380 1902-1903.... 2,672.068 10,511.020 1903-1904.... 2.921.061 9,841.671 1901-1905.... 2,770.244 13,420.056 1903-1906.... 5.102.633 11.002.901 1906-1907.... 4,318,938 13,306.816 1907-1908.... 5.994.206 11.257.538 1908-1909.... 5.128.576 13.510.890 1909-1910.... 5.994.118 10,267,326 1910-1911..... 5,291,716 11,852,412 1911-1912.... 5,659,584 15,722.487
Balance of Supply
End of Year. Visible. Invisible. 1,295,636 628.000 1,905,158 1,336.000 2.371,364 1,628,000 1,071.489 1.385,000 1.519.027 1,124,000 1.306.068 1,366,000 1.177.677 1,743,384 1.085,237 1.735,007 2.501,469 2.601,164 1.702,485 2.616.153 2,215,497 3,718,709 1.600,104 8.528,472 1.875.110 4,119,008 1,367.624 3.927.092 1.537.2494.122.335 2,005, 478 5,810,828
To illustrate the preceding, take the last season, 1911-1912, and the results would be as follows:
5.659,384 20.482, 487
Supply-Visible and invisible stock beginning of year..................bales,
5,819,828 Total visible and invisible stock at end of year. ....... bales
Exports from the United States.—The following is a table showing the exports of cotton goods from the United States to the various quarters of the globe. It will be observed that the 1912 total, reaching $50,769,511, is greater than that for 1911 by $9,917,593, and is $17,372, 114 larger than in 1910.