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------------THE IRON, COAL,…

Detailed Lists, Results and Guides

THE IRON, COAL, AND TIN PLATE TRADES OF SOUTH WALES. The improvement which has set in in the iron trade is very clearly shown in the activity which prevails throughout the district, and the prospects for the future are decidedly encouraging. Inquiries are increasing from all quarters as the season advances, and little doubt is now left but that the most sanguine expectations entertained at the beginning of the year will be fully realised, and a large trade will be done before the season has closed. The orders on offer at present in the markets are mostly for large quantities of railway iron, and makers find scarcely any difficulty in securing a fair proportion of the contracts. Consequent upon the increased inquiries from Russia, the United States, the Colonies, India, and several of thto con- tinental markets, the ironmasters find it necessary to stipu- late in many instances long terms for their delivery, and their position is one of greater independence than they have enjoyed for some time past. In proportion to the pressure of contracts, of course, reasonably higher prices must be paid, and it is pretty generally believed that before long quotations for rails will be still further advanced. Should the price of rails get up to k8 or 1:9 per ton, as is the opinion of some, the difference between that and the value of styel rails will be rendered relatively less than at present, and the demand for the latter material will, in all probability, be improved by the circumstance. Merchants and makers are, no doubt, pleased to find that, for a time. at least, their apprehensions in regard to the attempts made in America to increase the duties on finished materials imported have been removed, the proposed new Tariff Bill having been shelved, and it seems very likely that no inter- ference will be again made during this year, if at all. In no way, up to the present, have the efforts of the protec- tionists injured the trade between this country and the States Lut rather they seem to have pushed forward transactions, and advices continue to indicate a furtaer accession of business on transatlantic account. The auspi- cious nature of the season has much facilitated the effecting of the large clearances which have latterly been made from the local ports. Some movements are still to be witnessed in tLe home demand, chiefly for rails. Bars are slightly better in request, the competition of other districts being keenly felt. There is little or no change in the inquiry for other qualities. The downward tendency of the tin market, if it should continue, will give considerable relief to the tin-plate trade, and manufacturers look forward with confidence to a reduction in the price of block tin, consequent upon the restricted make throughout the kingdom. In the steam-coal trade a large amount of vitality continues to be evinced. Orders are coming in freely from the continental markets, the northern ports, and the mail packet stations, and, where shippers are able to secure an adequate supply of tonnage, the collieries are kept in almost full work. Suitable tonnage is scarce at some of the ports, but, with the present remarkably fine weather, this difficulty is not likely to continue. Complaints are less numerous of irregular working on the part of the men, and it is evident that the great majority of them are beginning to appreciate the advantages of advanced wages and regular employment. The house-coal trade remains in nearly the same state as previously reported. The exports of coal and iron for the present year, as shown in the returns just published by order of the House of Commons, demonstrate that the staple trades of this district are in a condition of unusual activity. Last month we had the pleasure to notice the large inureasf in the total exports, and we have again the gratification of stating that the returns for April exceed the quantities for the previous months, and also for the corresponding period of last vear. The total exports of coal for April amounted to 1,025.187 tons, being 39,884 tons in excess of tbe exports for March and_ 47,249 more than April 1869. For the four months ending April this year, the total exports were 3,391,299 tons, being about a quarter of a million tons more than in the same period of last year. France was by far the largest consumer, one-fourth of tbe above quantity having been shipped to that couMtry. Iron The exports of railroad iron for April were 96,876 tons, as against 85.147 tons in April, 18G9, and 58,904 in April, 1868. The four months ending April this year show that since 18GS the exports have nearly doubled, being as follow :-1870, 306.927 tons 1869, 233,353 tons 1868. 178,931 tons. The United States took 37,016 tonb of the quantity shipped in April, Russia, 20,619 tons, and British India, 15,986 tons. The quantity sent to Russia is less than last year, but the experts to the other countries named are much larger than last year, both for tbe month and also for tbe four months. Es .eciallv is this the case with British India, the quantities exported being for four months ending April, 1870, 73,681 tons of the value of f 608,149 for the corresponding period' of 1869, 18,405 tons, of the value of £H;¡j,211 for correspon- ding period of 1868, 35,069 tons, of the value of £ 363 476 Exports ot pig and puddled iron show a slight increasf' being for April, this year, 85,545 tons 1869 70 331 tons and for! 868^ 58,691 tons The returns for oW- kinds of iron show that no material increase has taken place. The total exports of iron will be seen from the following com- parative statement of quantities and value ° Month Four months of April. Value. ending April. Value. Tons. Tons. 18,0 258 580 £ 1.893,655 809,937 £ 6.134,113 1869 240,879 £1.731,341 709,714 £ 5.327.127 1868 185,456 £1,337,101 554,579 £4,261,135 An exceptional increase has taken place in the export of t-legraphic wire and apparatus. In April, 1868, the re- turned value of exports under this head was £6,100. and in April, 1869, only £ 5,721, but this year the exports for the single month are valued at £ 434,188. For the four months of the present year they amount to £ 579,620.—Machinery Under this head the improvement in the trade of the coun- try is also plainly visible. The value of steam engines ex- ported for the month of Aprii is set down at £ 168.389. For April, 1869, the amount was £ 115,014 and for April 1868, £ 140,676. The exports for the four months ending April show the same relative proportions. Of other sorts of ma- chinery the value of the exports for the month of April was £ 314,492 April, 1869, £ 255,794 April, 1868," £ 2<i7.941. For tbe four months ending April the value was as follows 1870, £ 957.670 1869, £ 848,934; 1868, £ 725,960. -.r-