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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 62



Some apprehension has been felt that, owing to disastrous snowstorms in the spring of the last year, more severely experienced in the Mackenzie country, and increased attention which our fanners have given to cropping, the returns for the present year (i.e., ending June) would show less favourably than usual, but the contrary is the case, as the increase of 4,699,041 lbs. in weight, and of 302,402l. in value, abundantly testify, to which must be added the 4,079,563 lbs. consumed in New Zealand mills, an increase of 100 per cent, on previous returns.

The incentive to breed crossbred sheep to meet the demands of the frozen mutton trade has happily resulted in the growers finding their page 11 returns augmented, owing to the enhanced value of this class of wool in the markets of the world.

Our pastures being eminently suited to the raising of crossbreds, New Zealand wool growers have a decided advantage over our Australian neighbours. This is shown conclusively in a comparison of shipments to London from Victoria with those from New Zealand, for three years taken at random, since the commencement of the frozen meat industry:—
1881. 1885. 1888.
Total wool from Victoria 353,400 311,200 352,600 Bales.
Total wool from New Zealand 183,200 237,400 265,800 Bales.
Total crossbred wool from Victoria 93,500 75,000 54,200 Bales.
Total crossbred wool from New Zealand 91,500 127,000 171,000 Bales.

The steady advance on the one hand, and equally steady decline on the other, is most marked, and buyers from America, Europe, and Australia, in their eagerness to overtake the increasing demand for this particular class of wool, have noted the change, and by their attendance at our local sales have materially helped to improve values.

The advantage is not likely to be a transient one, as, according to the Australasian, by a recent ruling of the United States Customs authorities as regards the classification of worsted goods, it has been decided that worsted goods will be hereafter classified as woollens, and pay duty on the higher scale, though worsted yarns will continue to come in at the old rate. The natural effect will be to stimulate the demand for very fine crossbred wools, which should be very satisfactory news to New Zealand growers.

It may not be out of place here to note that the requirements of the United States are likely to become enormous, and in view of the well-authenticated facts that the wool production there has about reached its maximum, that the consumption per head in the States is the largest in the world, their requirements for wool being more than is now being produced in the whole of Australasia in two years, it follows that that country's probable necessities are of the deepest moment in the consideration of our wool trade. So far the wool imported into the States for the enormous carpet trade has consisted chiefly of East Indian and Russian varieties, but inquiries have reached both Melbourne and New Zealand markets as to the possibilities of buyers being able to effect purchases of the rough, coarse crossbred wools carpet manufacturers require. Members will at once see what an important factor this is in the consideration of the increased cultivation of crossbred sheep; not only do they make the most profitable "freezers," but their wool is likely to find a ready outlet at remunerative prices.