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Review of the Corn Trade.


Review of the Corn Trade. In proportion as the time approaches for the meeting of Par- liament, anxiety ai to what alteration will be proposed in the corn It WI has increased rather than diminished and in the absence of definite information on the subjects, all sorts of rumours have been in circulation. As all doubt must now shortly be at an end, it is scarcely worth while to mention the different reports that have been current; but all confidence in the present amount of protection being maintained has long ago died away. Every circumstance having the remotest connection with the all-important subject—the corn laws-has been care. fully examined, and the wording of her Majesty's answers to the deputations from the city of London and Dublin, has been closely criticised. The genejal opinion appears to be that those replies afford grounds for assuming that the measures likely to be proposed by ministers will be of a sweeping character; and it is certain that since the day they were delivejed the tone of the trade undergone a derided change. About the close of last week there were evident symptoms of a use in the value of agri, cultural produce, many being ihen still disposed to think that the change likely to be made would not be of a character materially to reduce pricetl latterly, however, a contrary opinion has pre. vailed, and holders, whether farmers or merchants, have certainly become more ansious to realise. On the other hand, buyers have shewn the utmost unwillingness to enter into fresh operations and though no actual decline of moment has occurred, the up- ward movement has been effectually checked. Being, as we have already intimated, perfectly in the dark as to the DatUff of the laws by which the trade in grain with foreign countries may be hereafter regulated, it is almost impos- eible to determine with any degree of accuracy how prices are Jikely to be affected on the whole, however, we are still inclined 46 think that the value of wheat cannot, at least for some time. even under the most adverse circumstances, be greatly depressed, Our reasons for this belief are, in the first place, the fact that all parties have become convinced that an important alteration is sure to take place the effieet has, therefore, in a great measure, been anticipated and further, it must be remarked, that the Premier, before he can attempt to recommend the repeal of the present laws, must make it clear to the House that there really exists such security as to warrant so dangerous an experiment. This being proved, the quantity of wheat now in bond, even though immediately liberated, would not, we think, be likely to produce much effect on the markets and as no material supplies from the Continent can be expected to reach this country until the spring or summer, farmers might still have the opportunity of disposing of what they have on hand, without overloading the markets before the new order of things eould come into full ofterftiss. The only circumstance, in our opinion, which could depress the value of wheat materially, would be a panic among the producers; but should the deliveries from the growers be as moderate as they have been of late, the liberation of wheat msder lock in the kingdom would, we think, have no very great effect on quotations. At some of the provincial markets appear, however, already to have become already alarmed; and at Liverpool a aale of bonded wheat hy public auction produced a marked affect on Tuesday. Later in the anxiety to make sales had not subsided, and at Friday's m«*«t ibe millers found no difficulty in securing what they required for immediate use at prices 2s. 3d. per 7<Nbs: below the rates current on that day se'nnighl. At most of the other principal consuming towns, as well as at the chief markets in the agricultural districts, holders have generally declined acceding to lower terms, and purchasers having refused to pay tbe prices asked, business has been nearly at a stand. from Scotland the accounts are likewise very dull this week. At Edinburgh, on Wednesday, the attendance of buyers was unusually small; but notwithstanding the limited nature of the inquiry, sellers remained firm, and neither wheat of good quality nor the best sorts of barley or oats receded in value. The Glasgow advices are of a similar character, and the determina- tion to wait until something definite as to the future shall have transpired, appears t. be quite as general in the northern as in the southern markets. From Ireland we learn that the supplies brought forward by the farmers had fallen off so greatly as. to a considerable extent, to counteract the effects of the diminished demand, and that prices of grain had rather tended upwarda than otherwise. We have again to report a moderate arrival of wheat cosst- wise into London, 6649 qll. having come to hand up to Saturday evening. The belief which prevailed last week, viz., that the shortness of the supply had been occasioned by the then bois- terous weather, does not therefore appear to have been correct. It is, conaequently, fair to infer that farmers are not anxious to sell at present rates, which is further confirmed by the scanty nature of the arrivals by land-carriage samplea from the home counties. On Wednesday there was scarcely anything fresh up fromtsse* Kent, or Suffolk; and though the demand was the reverse of active, purchasers were unable to buy below previous puces. On Friday affairs remained in nearly the same position, the extreme insignificance of the supply rendering sellers unwilling to submit to any decline but from the cautious manner in which the mil. lers conducted their operations, we are inclined to thin prices could not have been maintained if there had been any increase ia the arrinls, Foreign free wheat has been quite as difficult of disposal as that of home growth, and towards the close of the week there were indicationa of a slight giving way on the part of the sellers; this failed, however, to lead to business, and in the absence of transactions of importance, quotations remained nominally unaltered. The belief that a considerable modification will be proposed in the duties, on the meeting of Parliament, has not produced much effect on the value of bonded wheat, and no disposition has been manifested to speculate in the aiticle. Importers have, nevertheless, remained very nnn indeed, some holders have withdrawn their samples, preferring to wait until the intention of ministeis, as regards the corn laws, shall have become known, to paltingwith their property at the rates now current. From the present state of the averages, it is pretty certain that the duty will rise to 16s. per qr. on Thursday next; but this is. under u. isting circumstances, regarded with indifference, 81 few parties now anticipate that the present scale will leng remain in opera- tion, The sale of flour has been very limited, but as the metro- politan bakers have for some weeks past bought with the utmost caution, it may be presumed that their stocks will not hold out much longer. As yet, however, there are no indications of an improved demand, and considerable difficulty has been experi- enced aince our lasi in effecting sales at previous rates. The arrivals of barley have consisted of 1,156 qrs. from our own coast,937 qrs. from Scotland, and 3,0?25 qrs. from abroad. The inquiry for this grain has not by any means improved and though choice malting samples have, in consequence of their scarcity, realised full terms, all other descriptions have hang very lieavity on hand. This was more particularly the case to- wards the close of the week, and on Friday the general runs were certainly obtainable a shade below the currency of Mondsfyr The duty onibartey is now 6B.per qr., ha«iug~rtsM Is. fail Thursday. Of the trifling quantity previously under lock at this port, the greater part was released before the advance took place in the duty. The inquiry for malt has been of a retail character, but factors have generally insisted on previous rates, and the little business done has been at similar prices to those current last week. Though the wind has been favourable for making the passage from Ireland, the supply of oats from thence has not exceeded 2,970 qrs.; whfcb, with 3,902 'qrs. from our own coast, and 1,689 qrs. from Scotland, and 2,663 qrs. from abroad, affoids only a small weekly arrival. Notwithstanding this circumstance, the trade has not maintained the firm tone it assumed about the close of last week which we tbiak must in a great measure be attributed-to the general doubt and uncertainty as to what may be done with the Corn Laws. Many of the piincipal dealers appear to have determined to refrain altogether from purchasing until something positive shall have become known on the subject; and buyers who have been compelled by their immediate wants to come into the market, have taken juat sufficient for present purposes; it has, therefore, been difficult to sustain the recent slight advance. In our last number, the quantity of foreign oats on which duty had been paid, during the past year, was, in mistake, stated to be 50,000 qrs. instead of 500,000 qrs. Besides the rise in the duty on barley, the rate chargeable on oats and rye advanced Is. per qr. on Thursday- Mark Lane Express. it, !———ttt-.

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