The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 62
Thus it will be seen possible markets have been steadily taken advantage of with very beneficial results. It is very interesting to note the proportion of wheat exported to the United Kingdom and Australia respectively as compared with last year.
|Year ending June.||United Kingdom.||Australia.|
Showing a wonderful expansion in this trade, especially to Australia, as, while the ratio of increase to the United Kingdom has advanced nearly 4¾ times, the increase to Australia exceeds 18½ times; or, if we take the value, we find about the same proportionate advance as in the quantity sent away to the United Kingdom, but to Australia the value exported is fully 25 times more than went forward in 1887-8. This latter feature is undoubtedly highly satisfactory, seeing that it must be to our advantage to cultivate the nearer markets of the sister colonies as often affording the best prices with the quickest returns.
It is generally admitted that the United States have about reached the maximum limit of the quantity of wheat they will annually have available for export to foreign countries; hence with the increasing population of Australia, the comparatively contracted areas in which wheat growing can be prosecuted to payable advantage,; considered with the uncertainties and variableness of its climate, we may reasonably look for frequent periods when we shall have large outlets in that direction, at prices more payable than will pro- page 12 bably be found in Europe. That New Zealand is in a very superior position to meet such demands through the productiveness of her soil, is shown in the average yield of wheat per acre in the Australasian colonies for the years ending 31st March, 1874-1889.
|N. S. Wales||1,450,503||109,931||36,760||1,597,194|
|Total for Australia||16,616,214||3,002,793||1,359,228||20,978,235|
|Balance in favour of New Zealand||171,613|
|Victoria.||New South Wales.||Queensland.||South Austraia.||Western Australia.||Tasmanli.||New Zealand.|
The fact is observed in the "Victorian Year Book" that "the average produce of wheat, oats, barley, and potatoes, is much the highest in New Zealand," and were we to add the mean for 1888-9 we should still further distance our friendly competitors. 'Twere easy to multiply figures on the wonderful productiveness of New Zealand soil, but enough has surely been said for this occasion to show the unique position New Zealand ' occupies amongst these great grain communities of Australasia. And this position should be especially pleasing to us, seeing that out of the total area in cereals throughout the colony for the past year of 793,866 acres, 402,307 acres belong to Canterbury province. One of the most striking features of the year under review has been the excellent quality of the grain marketed, which should go a long way towards overcoming the prejudice that exists in some quarters against New Zealand production. Thanks to our system of farming, we ship our grain much cleaner than is the case with shipments from Australia, or almost any part of the world; but we shall never obtain that perfection which will meet with the views of our foreign consumers, until we grade our numerous varieties into standard qualities. At the outset this would probably mean increased cost to growers, but it would undoubtedly pay in the end by the enhanced values that our recognised standards would secure. Too much stress cannot be laid on this question of quality, as we hear of really medium wheats being often offered in other markets as prime New Zealand milling, which must work out detrimentally to our best interests.