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I literlins Holes of fjje…

Jotal fitttlliipte.




THE IRON AND GENERAL TRADES. The Preliminary Meeting of the Ironmasters of this District was held last Thursday at Dudley, and a resolu- tion was passed unanimously to adhere to the prices as they stood at last quarter-day. There had been rumours afloat of an intention to make an advance of 10s., but we doubt if this was ever contemplated by any of the leading nrms for although the demand for finished iron is undoubtedly improving, it would be an unwise pro- ceeding to attempt any advance of prices at present, in- asmuch as the result would very likely be to check the development of that renewed activity in the iron trade which has already manifested itself. A great point will have been gained if prices as they now stand can be firmly maintained, in place of the underseliing which prevailed during the greater portion of last vear. The price of pig iron is firmer than it was last quarter-day. At that time the prevailing price for best hot blast was £3 12s. 6L, though there were sales as high as X3 15s. but we are informed that the latter is now the prevailing price, and that a great deal of the make of next quarter has been sold by anticipation. A somewhat sanguine feeling was expressed that the prospects of the Iron Trade were good and there are many indications of a character to induce this supposi- tion. There is every probability of a better demand for America and other foreign markets, notwithstanding some hostile tariffs which are said to be looming in the dis- tance and as regards our colonies, India and Australia especially, the quantity of iron required for railway pur. poses willuuquestionllbly be considerable. If therefore, production is kept within proper bounds, we are hopeful that the trade in South Staffordshire will once again assume a healthy aspect. Surely it is not too much to infer that last year's experience will be pro- ductive of good and that less facilities will be afforded hereafter for men without capital to run in the race with those who have the former conducting business upon a spurious credit system, which unfortunately involves in ruin the honest as well as the unscrupulous and knavish trader. Too much of that sort of thing has taken place in St) ith Staffordshire it is to be hoped that we shall not witness its repetition. With reference to the manufacturing trades generally of this town and the district, the prospects are encoura- ging. Money is avadable sufficiently to promote industry and to further legitimate enterprise; whilst the low price of food, and a well-employed population, cannot fail to be powerful stimulants to every branch of com- merce. At the same time there is a deep-rooted aversion to speculation, which will materially contribute to the restoration and maintenance of trade in a healthy action. The Quarterly Meetings of the Ironmasters commence next week on Tuesday, January 11th, at Walsall on Wednesday, January 12th, at Wolverhampton on Thursday, at Birmingham on Friday, at Stourbridge and on Saturday, January, 15th, at Dudley.—Midland Counties Herald. COAL CONTRACTS.—The Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses require the supply of 1451 tons of best double-screened steam coal, and 1031 tons for ordinary family use^ Ihe Board cf Admitalty require 3,500 tons of fcouth Wales Coal for Jamaica. Jan 4.—The Shrews- bury and Hereford Railway require 5000 tons of coal for their locomotive engines Jan. 5. In the Coal Market during the past week, in conse- quence of the piucity of the supply for some time past, ail descriptions of house coals were in great demand, and as there have been considerable arrivals during the past week, a large amount of business has been doing. During the week 399 ships have been placed in the mar- ket, of which number only 50 were left unsold, the prices obtained being Best Wallsend, 18s. 61. to 19s. second quality. 16s. to 158. j manufacturers', 12s. to los. 6d, Hartley's, 14s. 9d. steam qualities, 21s. THE SCOTCH IRON TRADE.-(From Messrs. Andrew Woodrow and Sons Circular, Glasgow.)—This important branch of commerce has continued to expand, during a long period of commercial lassitude, in which no great enterprises were undertaken likely to develope the industrial resources of the country. This result is the more surprising when we take into consideration the low price at which iron has ruled throughout the year, and it augurs well for the time, when the wants of the trade shall have so much increased as to requre a further aug- mentation of production. Twelve months ago, when the prospects of the trade for 1858 were matter for conjecture many were of opinion that if prices did not improve, a large number of furnaces would be put out of blast in order that the stock might not further accumulate. So far from that having been the case, we find that in 1857 there were, on an average, 128 furnaces in blast, pro ducing 918,000 tons, whereas in 1858, there were an average number of 129 furnaces, producing970,000tons • lowing an increase of production over 1857 of 52 000 BaS'veSaIin? T Parlicular'^ the fluctuations of the past jear, it may be expected that we should give some ;r,° "hat ry i„iS^g hi thing we feel assured, that though our stock at present is heavy, and our production annually on the increase the time is not far distant when markets will be found Supply! absorbln° a larger quantity than we now can A Glasgow firm write respecting the Scotch Iron trade -The average number cf furnaces in b:ast for the 12 months has been 128. At present there are 131 in active operation, The production has again exceeded that of any previous year, aad, notwithstanding shipments being also in exctss and local consumption moderate, stocks have increased to 340,080 tons, of which there are in store 150,000. the bilaneein makers' hands. FREIGHTS AT CARDIFF.-The following are the freights for coal and iron this week in the port of Cardiff, extracted from the Cardiff Shipping and Mercantile Guznte :-COAL. -Aden, 428.; BomLay, 32s to 35s Calcutta, 46s, to 50& Cape of Good Hope, 30s.; Cape Velds, 16- Hong Kong, 50s to 528. 6d.; Mauritius, 28s. to 308.; Singapore or Penang. 34s. Alexandria 16s Beyrout, 19s. Constanti- nople, 17s 6d. Cadiz, 12s.; Gibraltar, 15s. 6d Genoa, 158. to 16s. Lisbon, lIs. Malta, 16s. 6d. to 17s. Ham- burg, lIs. Liverpool, 6s. 3d. London, (first market day), 8s. to 8s. 3d.; Portsmouth, 7s. to 7s. 6d.; Southampton, 7s. 6d. French ports, from 11 to 15 francs. IRON.-Con- stantinople, 22s. to 23s. Huelva to Newcastle or Liver- pooJ, ore, los.; Naples, 22s. 6d. Smyrna, 22s.; Salonioa, .s. bd,





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