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The Iron Trade

The Iron Trade image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

The present condition of the iron trade of New York, and, in tact, of the whole country, prosents some ratner curious anomalies. For twehty years the stocks ot'iron- not'only in Ñew York, but it the great producing centers and in the country atores - havo not boen so low as now At the same time, the demand for iron has rarely been so light or the siciïüces made by dealers bo great as at present. The causes of this stagnation in the iron trade are neither apparent nor satiaf aotory ; but a review of the tr.ido for the past two years, togother with some facts concerning the consumption of iron and the sources of the iron supply will prove instructive. Up to August, 1871, refined bar-iron sold in Eugland for L7 10. to L7 15s. per ton. This made the price of imported iron about $50 curruucy in bond, while the average duty of $2ö a ton added to this made the prico of imported iron, duty paid, about $75 to $78 a ton. American iron was theu selling for $75 a ton. In August, 1871, a rise took place, and the price of iron advanced in a few months froin L7 los. to L14 lOs. in England, and trom $75 to $120 a ton in America. A ycur later, in September, 1872, the price of bar-iron in Englaud feil trom L14 lOs. to L10 15. The decline continued until December, while during the present year prices have again risen, varyingfrom L15 to L12 10s. a ton. In the United States the price of iron was kept at $89.(50 a ton in the early part of 1873, with the prospuct of ai advance. But instead of an advance there was a decline, and iron luis now been selling for several inonths at 180.64. Thus it appears that iron is only $4.50 to $5 a ton dearer in New York uow than in 1871, and yat, notwithstanding the fact of almost a bare tnarket, thore is no steady demand and prices are altoaether unrehable. The taritf has now effectually prohibited the importation of the usual grades oí' bar-iron. For the oost of i ron in England, with freight and insuranoe added, would put the pricti al about $79 ourrency a ton in bond, which, with tho duty of f 25, would make the price of' iuiported iron more than .f 100 ii tou, while the American producer with low stocks on hand is unable to sellfreelj' ut $80 a tou. Tuis condition of tliings is somewhat perplexing, but perhaps the true solution of it is to be found in the following facts : First - The farmers, who are the principal consumera of bar-iron, have for severa! years been pinched for money. Tho adverse operation of the tarift' laws has driven theni to greater economy, and thpy now repair their wheel tires and farming implements, and refrain longer rotn buying new ones than formerly. Socond - -A groat number of small forges have reeently sprung up in convenient centers, which produce from 1,000 to 5,000 tons each of rolled iron forged to suit the demand of their respective neighborhoods. Singly they are of little importancs, but eollectively they constitutu a wry formidable competition with the great ironestablishments of Pennsylvania iiud Maryland. The farmers within a radias of a hundred miles around Rome in this State no longer purchase their gupplies of iron from New York, but draw tht'in from the foundries which have sprung up in the former city within the last few years. This is only one of the man y exainples which uiight be cited in allpartsof the country. Third - The demand for railroad irou has decreased with the decline in railroad building, whioh is largely attributable to the high pnce of iron, implements, and labor produoed by the tariff. Whatuver the complete solution of tho present stagnation in the iron trade majT In', or wherever the future center of the iron production in this country may be located', it is very certain that the outrageous tariff on iron which has served the pnrposes ot' the PennsylvaniA founders and forgers for the past twelve years is now a dead letter. It no longer brings reven ue to the treasury nor proteetion to the Americaa manufacturar of iron - X )". WorUL.


Old News
Michigan Argus