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64 @ 7
71 @ 74
74 @ 8 79 @
Average for the year,.
15 @ 16 15 @ 16 15 @ 16 February,
15 @ 16 144 @ 154 | 143 @ 151 March,
144 @ 157 15 @ 154 | 15 @ 151 April,
154 @ 16 154 @ 16 151 @ 16 May,
154 @ 16 164 @ 171 164 @ 171 June,
161 @ 177 | 17 @18 17 @ 18 July,
17 @ 18 17 @ 18 17 @ 18 August,
17 @ 18 17 @ 18 17 @ 18 September,
17 @ 18 17 @ 18 17 @ 18 October,..
17 @ 18 17 @ 18 174 @ 181 November,
171 @ 181 | 171 @ 184 174 @ 181 December,
17! @ 184 | 174 @ 184 19 @ 20 Average for the year, ...
REVIEW OF THE TEA TRADE OF NEW-YORK,
FOR THE YEAR 1886.
SPEAKING generally, the year 1886 has been an unsatisfactory one to the tea trade. Supplies have been in excess of demand, and there has been, for the most part, a declining market. The close of the year, however, showed more strength and a better tone; the trade considered the outlook for the future more favorable than it had been for a long time.
One new feature of the year has been the inauguration of auction sales by the Tea Auction Co. of Chicago. This system of disposing of teas seems to become more strongly established each year; nor is this strange in view of certain changes in the business which prepare
way for it. There are two evils in the trade that, as long as they exist, must have much to do with forced sales at auction. One is the facility with which persons of small capital can obtain credits, by means of which they are at once placed in the position of competitors of old-established and wealthy houses. Upon the arrival of the goods, unless they can sell privately within a short time, they are compelled to resort to the auction room, as they have not the financial strength to hold their imports. Thus, even with a fairly strong market and a promising future, if there be little buying at the moment, they are unable to take advantage of the position and hold their teas, but must realize before the maturity of their drafts. A second evil is the crowding of supplies so largely within a few months, instead of having them distributed during the year, as in the days of sailing vessels. There is very little of the holding element now, and this consequently only aggravates matters. The slightest lack of demand from the jobbers precipitates forced sales at auction; while, on the other hand, the jobbers, knowing the indisposition of importers to hold, are very timid at such times of heavy arrivals. This condition generally results in heavy sales and rapidly declining prices, until so low a point is reached that a reaction is inevitable.
The sales at auction during the past seven years have been as follows: 1880), .pkgs. 232,647 1884,
pkgs. 350,600 1881, 451,881 1885,
440,500 1882, 530,000
455,200 New York,
49,400 Green Teas.—Total receipts, direct and indirect, during the year foot up, of season 1885–86, 6,934,000 pounds ; 1886–87, 8,598,000 pounds—total, 15,532,000 pounds; against, in 1885, 18,509,000 pounds; in 1884, 17,179,000 pounds; in 1883, 17,257,000 pounds; in 1882, 15,083,000 pounds.
The opening of the year showed a very moderate demand for
this description, and that was confined to the choicest chops. About the middle of January, a full assortment of these was offered at auction ; prices declined and confidence was generally lost. February and March showed a slowly declining market, the bulk of the receipts going at auction. Under this pressure, prices reached such a low point, that early in April there was some return of confidence, and buying commenced and continued into May. This improvement of our market had the effect of stimulating shipments from England, the arrival of which caused prices to return to about their former level. June showed little change. The season of 1886-87 opened late in Shanghai, with prices 12 to 15 per cent. above the New York market. This, together with the prospects of curtailed supplies, stiffened the market during August and September. The disparity in prices between the two markets permitted, at the outset, very little business ; but when the prospects of short crop developed into certainty, importers advanced their limits, and the heavy decline in exchange favored business ; so that considerable buying was done in Shanghai in August.
The arrival of new teas attracted considerable attention, and teas with real merit found a ready market. In November the prices for fine teas had strengthened somewhat, but low grade and medium chops were in small demand and passed largely through the auction room. December witnessed an advance on all grades, but relatively greater on the lower grade chops.
Pingsueys. During the early part of the year this description showed at times more firmness than Country Greens, but, with free receipts from England, they experienced the same decline in May that the latter suffered from. New
tea sold freely at auction, resulting in a declining market. Many Pingsueys, (as was also the case with Country Greens,) on account of the Chinese being unable to obtain their price, were shipped on native account, and the receivers of such were generally free sellers. While it was a recognized fact that our supplies would be short, there was no disposition to buy largely until October's low market was reached, at which time speculative buying took place. A temporary weakness succeeded this, but the market reacted, and the year closed with prices 2c. per pound above the October basis.
Japans.-Receipts of teas of 1985–86, 6,968,000 pounds; of 1886 -87, 33,645,000 pounds—total in 1856, 40,613,000 pounds; against, in 1885, *32,721,000 pounds; in 1884, 30,435,000 pounds ; in 1883, 29,558,000 pounds ; in 1882, 33,000,000 pounds.
The year opened dull, with prices barely up to those ruling in November and December, 1885. During the months preceding the arrival of new teas the fluctuations were unimportant, and the close of the season showed small stocks to carry forward. Early reports promised an abundant new crop, and they were so far correct that by August 1st there had been received, of new crop alone, 9,952,000 pounds, against 4,208,000 pounds the previous year. The Chicago auctions commenced about the middle of June, and heavy sales of Japans took place every ten days or two weeks. It is needless to say that the market declined quickly, and generally Chicago led New York. The early part of September showed a slight recovery of prices, but it was only temporary. By November 1st, the excess of receipts of the new season were fully 30 per cent. over last year, and this month marks the lowest point of the year. Notwithstanding the much greater supplies for 1886, there was less Japan tea to arrive December 1st, to complete the season's supplies, than there was on the corresponding date in 1885. This was significant; the market had borne the pressure, and during December some improvement was noticeable.
* Erroncously given as 37,240,000 in report of 1885.
Formosas.-Receipts of season 1885–86, 3,688,000 pounds; of 1886–87, 9,099,000 pounds—total, 12,787,000 pounds ; against, in 1885, 12,477,000 pounds ; in 1884, 11,961,000 pounds ; in 1883, 13,292,000 pounds ; in 1882, 9,756,000 pounds.
The depression which characterized this description at the close of 1885 did not disappear with the advent of 1886. Trade generally was disappointing in January. During the first quarter of the year, while there was no essential change in prices, there was a dull market, with signs to those who were willing to see them, that a break was impending. In April this weakness became tangible, while in May holders evidently gave up all hopes of sustaining the market, and there was a general stampede to the auction room. The average decline from the first of the year was now 4c. per pound. In June, superior and the better grades eased off a trifle more, and superior sold as low as 21c., which was the quotation of fair in January. With a large stock of desirable old teas selling on this basis, it is hardly surprising that the opening prices for new teas (28c. for superior) could not long be maintained, especially as the character of the new crop did not compare favorably with the old. From the middle of July to the early part of September the market rapidly declined, and new superiors sold as low as 23c. at auction. The heavy losses involved in such sales soon checked them, and by the latter part of September superiors were firm at 25c. During the next two montlis the fluctuations were trivial, except on superiors, which again dropped to 23 @ 24c. At the end of November, however, a strong speculative movement set in,-a movement into which the whole trade was gradually drawn. There were many who, having no confidence in the intrinsic strength of the position, were still liberal buyers, in the belief that the speculators wonld be able to hold the market firm for some weeks into the new year at any rate. The
year closed with superior at 27c. Amoys and Foochows.-Receipts of teas of 1885–86, 2,467,000 pounds; of 1886–87, 4,960,000 pounds—total for 1886, 7,427,000 pounds; against, in 1885, 6,100,000 pounds; in 1884, 5,789,000 pounds; in 1883, 6,535,000 pounds ; in 1882, 4,771,000 pounds.
Prices of these are naturally fixed, to a great extent, by Formosas, and this year the fluctuations of the different kinds of Oolongs have been particularly closely related. The few houses who have had a virtual control of Amoys for several seasons were unable to stem the tide that set in with the decline of Formosas. Commencing the year with fair at 18c. and good at 19c., (the two kinds, Amoy and Foochow, varying little from each other,) the course of prices was, in general, downward, though occasionally some weeks would elapse without any quotable change. In November, fair was 15 @ 15ļc., good, 16 @ 10 jc. ; but speculators took hold of these kinds (especially Amoys) more eagerly than they did Formosas, and fair in December reached 17c. and good 19c.
Congous.-Receipts of season of 1885–86, 950,000 pounds; of 1886–87, 5,489,000 pounds-total, 6,439,000 pounds ; against, in 1885, 3,881,000 pounds; in 1884, 3,830,000 pounds ; in 1883, 3,851,000 pounds ; in 1882, 5,502,000 pounds.
The usual decline in fine teas took place in May and June, in anticipation of the new crop soon coming on. Teas of season 1886-87 proved to be of unusually fine flavor and of excellent leaf. Receipts were so heavy that prices touched an abnormally low point on all but the lower grades. It should be noted however that statistics show a much larger supply than really remained in our market, probably not less than 1,000,000 pounds going through to Canada, a larger amount than in other seasons. Certainly not for many years has such fine quality been obtainable at 25 to 35c., as during the latter part of the year.
RANGE OF PRICES FOR LINES OF TEAS AT NEW-YORK FOR EACH
MONTH DURING THE YEAR 1886.
Fine. Fine. 17 @ 28 16 @ 30 17 @ 28 15 @ 30 17 @ 28 15 30 16 @ 28 15 @ 30 14 @27 15 @27 14 @ 26 15 @ 25 14 @ 23 20 @ 33* 14 @ 30* 18 @ 28* 14 @ 28* 17 @ 37* 14 @ 28* 17 © 25* 15 @ 23* 16 @ 25* 17 @ 31* 16 @ 25*
* New season,