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THE WELSH IRON, TIN-PLATE, AND COAL TRADES. It cannot be said that there is much greater animation evinced in the iron trade this week than was reported last week; but dearly the trade is gradually assuming that improved position which was looked forward to at the conclusion of last year. The same dissension seems to exist between- makers and buyers in regard to prices, and the latter will no doubt continue, as long as possible, to place their orders with a sparing hand; but this state of things cannot long exist, or at least affect this district. the especial department of which is the manufacture of railway iron, and orders for this description of make must soon arrive extensively. The home trade is still depressed, not yet having shaken off the effects of the great panic of 1866, but it is satis- factory to be able to announce that this year it ia sanguinely ex- pected will experience a revival in home industry; and there are on all sides indications of a considerably-increased demand over that of the last three years for railway iron; for although there are no very important undertakings to be carried out, yet com- paratively large supplies will be required to keep the existing roads in order, as, for want of capital, many companies have hitherto been unable to purchase for relaying purposes. In bars the market is quiet, and this district suffered from the com- petition of the second and third class houses of Staffordshire, who, in some instances, quote as much as 15s. per ton below the list prices. There is more doing in plates, and probably as the year advances there will be a considerable expansion of this branch of the trade. In foreign requirements there is little change. Advices from Russia are highly favourable, the success of the new loan rendering it certain that the new network of railways will be the means of sending large orders to this coun- try. The shipments on American accoant are about the same as usual, and little change is expected for another month or so. The tin-plate trade may be said to be gradually regaining a more satisfactory condition, and makers are not very ready to accept specifications, only at an advance of about Is. per box. Should the price of tin remain as at present, and the expected large orders arrive from the United States, there can be little doubt that trade will be attended with some degree of prosperity during the current year. There is little alteration to note in reference to the steam coal trade, save that a slight slackening of the orders is reported by merchants, which, however, is not generally regarded as any real falling off in the trade. For house coal there is a fair sale, and shipments coastwise are in excess of what they were in the corresponding period of last year. There is no change in quota- tions.





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