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Imports into France from Brazil, 1880.
General im- Special imports.
Exports from France to Brazil, 1880.
Manufactures in skin and leather..........
$3,004, 000 1, 817,000
469, 000 1, 359, 000 1, 188, 000
317, 000 1, 033, 000 1, 016, 000 596, 000
55, 000 375, 000 367, 000 249, 000 309,000 119, 000 216, 000 118,000 194, 000 176, 000 145, 000 137, 000 123, 000 116, 000 95, 000 83,000 26, 000 90,000 18, 000 75,000 53,000 50,000 43,000 39, 000 38,000 8,000 3, 000 33, 000 30, 000 32, 000 9, 000 3, 000 17,000
453,000 14, 713, 000
18, 648, 000
Of the total imports into the United States from Brazil during the year 1881 ($52,782,000), free goods amounted to $44,457,608, viz, coffee, $35,608,000 ; India rubber, $5,950,000; hides, $1,875,000; cocoa, chemicals, drugs, dyes, medicinal bark, hair of all kinds, woods, &c. The import of brown sugar, $8,144,000, constituted the bulk of the dutiable goods.
The principal exports from the United States to Brazil during the year under review consisted of breadstuffs and provisions, which amounted to about $5,200,000, of which flour amounted to $4,393,000, lard to $547,000, and butter to $100,000.
Of the manufactures exported from the United States cottons amounted to $660,746, a decrease of $27,000 from the preceding year. The fol. lowing statement will show at a glance the insignificant place which our cotton manufactures hold in Brazilian trade:
Exports of British and American coltons to Brazil during the year 1880–81.
It will be seen from the foregoing statement that the exports of British cottons to Brazil are as 37 yards to 1, and as $27 to $1 of American.
The average price per yard of British and American cottons, as given in official returns, exported to Brazil as above, was as follows:
British.—Plain piece goods, 5.65 cents; printed piece goods, deducting the mixed goods therefrom, 7.59 cents.
American.-Plain piece goods, 9.78 cents ; printed, 10.39 cents.
It would appear from the foregoing statements that the greater portion of the cotton manufactures consumed in Brazil are of inferior quality—that is, low-priced goods—and that the American manufacturers make no very serious efforts to compete with the British in price, but trust to the superiority of their goods to work their way in that market. It is more than likely that high-priced cottons, no matter how superior they may be, will never have more than a limited sale in Brazil. Our manufacturers, therefore, if they hope to run up their trade in that country to the " millions," as they must eventually do, inust accommodate the tastes and buying capacity of the consumers. The British manufacturers have gauged the wants of the various markets, and get up their goods to suit all requirements, from the cheap plaiu cottons worth 41 cents per yard for West Africa, to the bigh grade of plain goods worth 9.59 cents per yard exported to Australasia, and from the low-priced prints at 6.52 cents for Bombay and Scinde, to the high print goods for the United States worth 11.25 cents. The British plain piece goods exported to Brazil must be of the same grade of goods as those exported to China, the price of the latter averaging 5.26 cents per yard, the goods shipped to Brazil averaging 5.65 cents. Whether the latter are adulterated to the same extent as the goods manufactured for the Chinese market, I am unable to say.
According to Canadian returns, the American cottons imported into the dominion—and being so imported is a guaranty of their good qualitycost less than the cottons imported from Great Britain, viz, plain piece
goods 6x cents per yard, and printed goods a fraction over 7 cents. If our manufacturers would send goods at these figures into the Brazilian market, the goods being suitable in all things else, they could undoubtedly increase their trade in that country to something like the proportions it should assume.
The principal American manufactures exported to Brazil are, iron manufactures, $604,000; steel manufactures, $192,000; railroad cars, $155,000; drugs and medicines, $145,000; paper and stationery, soaps, cordage, glassware, jewelry, lamps, leather goods, mathematical and musical instruments, perfumery, plated ware, scales and balances, sew. ing machines, tinware, trunks and valises, wood and manufactures of, &c.
Brazil, from its geographical position, irrespective of the importance of its trade and the promising enlargement thereof year after year, has been justly styled the key to the commerce of South America. The imports and exports of the empire at present constitute more than onethird of the total foreign trade of all South America. This trade is conducted through the following ports, the estimates therefor being based upon the latest and most available returns:
Imports and exports of Brazil by principal ports.
Appreciating the importance of securing a controlling influence in Brazilian trade, the principal countries of Europe-England, France, and Germany in particular-have made the Brazilian market a special study, bringing to bear thereupon fine business ability, large capital, a spirit which accommodates itself to the usages and tastes of the country, rounding off the whole with direct and frequent steam cominunication.
During the year 1880, according to the report of Consul-General Adamson, there entered the port of Rio de Janeiro 484 steamships, of 786,100 tons, under the following flags :
Since the withdrawal of the only American line of steamers plying between the United States and Rio de Janeiro, and which is represented in the foregoing statement, the American flag is uprepresented in the
merchant steam marine engaged in Brazilian trade. We are, therefore, in this regard, wholly indebted to foreign companies, principally British, for the facilities afforded us in our commercial intercourse with South America. When, however, it is taken into consideration that these steamers, as a general rule, carry European manufactures to Brazil, bring Brazilian coffee and other products to the United States, and then load up with American breadstuffs and provisions for Europe-repeating this same discriminating round of trips—it may naturally be inferred that our export trade to Brazil is not likely to receive much impetus from the steam-carrying facilities afforded.
As a result of the masterly trade maneuvers of the above-mentioned countries, more than three-fourths of the imports of Brazil are of European origin, while of the imports of manufactures all, save those imported from the United States not amounting to over $2,000,000, are European. On the other hand, in the matter of exports, as before re. ferred to, we take nearly as much as England, France, and Germany combined.
In regard to the present condition of American trade in Brazil, and the best methods for the enlargement thereof, the following carefully. prepared statement from Consul General Adamson's report is herewith given :
AMERICAN TRADE WITH BRAZIL AND THE ENLARGEMENT THEREOF,
American manufacturers, as a rule, know very little about Brazilian markets. In many articles of American manufacture the trade with Brazil has been steadily and healthfully increasing during the last decade. Americans have had a fair opening for their goods in all Brazilian cities, and the prospects for continued growth of our trade are fairly encouraging.
Among the mistakes which have stood in the way of American trade with Brazil may be mentioned, first, the idea that Brazil is a new country, when, in fact, as already shown, it is older as to settlement and commercial relations than our own country.
Until the present century most of the Brazilian trade was with Portugal, and through that country with England. In 1807 the Brazilian ports were opened to the commerce of the world, and England, as the friend of Portugal, was the first to frequent them. Since that time England has always been the principal exporter to Brazil, though French and German manufacturers have been gradually gaining ground here.
Since the early part of this century we have sold wheaten flour to Brazil, and later on have done a good trade in lumber, rosin, cotton drillings, and kerosene, but it is only since our diversified manufacturing interests have grown to be of commanding importance that we have entered the lists to compete for the general trade. In this sepse the markets of Brazil are comparatively new to us, and our people can succeed in getting a fair share of the trade by studying the requirements of the people, by patient perseverence, and by fair dealing.
Some remarkable blunders have been made, such as sending mowing machines to the Amazonian forests, and of the lesser ones mention may be made of a marble dealer who came to Brazil with a large stock of tombstones and monuments bought in the United States. He could find no buyers because the style of monuments used here is entirely different from those in vogue in the United States. Another party came · from Saint Louis to Rio de Janeiro to sell hearses, coffins, and other funeral goods, and found that the business was a monopoly of the great hospital, the “Santa Casa da Misericordia."
Brazilian retail buyers are eminently conservative; having become accustomed to a certain style or mark of goods, they are very slow to change for another, even though better and cheaper. The sellers say their customers know the article they have been in the habit of buying and it gives the vendor no trouble to make the sale. Our people who grasp so eagerly at an improved article and cheapened price, find it difficult to comprehend Brazilian conservatism in such matters. In seeking to introduce American manufactures these facts should be kept in view and the goods should be made to conform as nearly as possible to the tastes of the buyer.
An instance in point may be found in American cotton prints. The English and French goods, which have so long held the market, are put up in pieces of a certain length and breadth, with peculiar finish, all different from the American article, and as a result our sales to Brazil in that line increase slowly.
American traveling salesmen are too frequently young men who are unacquainted with the Portuguese language and who are dependent on their sales for a subsistence. Failing to secure the custom of large and safe buyers, they make sales to small dealers who will not pay promptly, and from whom a debt cannot be collected by law without extravagant legal fees, if at all.
If our manufacturers cannot send partners or salaried agents here they should put their business in the hands of established commission merchants who know the market and its needs, and whose command of the language enables them to recommend the goods properly.
Besides the active competition of foreign merchants, there are many other impediments, such as (1) the existence of monopolies, officially protected, (2) the high duties, frequent revisions of the tariff and arbitrary ruling as to same by custom-house employés, (3) the varying rates of exchange, and (4) the long credits which are asked by Brazilian buyers.
Against all these, American goods can only push their way slowly; our manufacturers, to gain the market, must be content to sell at first for very small profits or without any profit.
When a new demand is created, or when goods not previously sold here are placed ou the market, the first seller has, of course, the advantage over others.
The case of American stoves may be cited ; ten or fifteen years ago stoves were hardly known in Brazilian houses; cooking was done at open fires or in imperfect brick ranges. When American stoves were placed on the market they were regarded as a novelty, but for several years they commanded only a small sale. Now that their advantages are known, their sale is large and constantly increasing, and having gained the ground are likely to hold it.
American soda, lemon, and fancy biscuits have improved during the last year on their former bad reputation, and if care is taken to ship only superior goods a valuable business in that line may be had. They should be put up in the style of the British goods of Peek, Freen & Co., but should bear a Portuguese label and name descriptive of contents.
American canned goods are gaining favor, and the sales might be increased by marking them with Portuguese names.
Dried apples prepared by the new process of evaporation have taken so well as to lead to the belief that potatoes put up in same style might sell at a profit.
American butter has gained a bad reputation bere, and will only sell at very low prices. The “Petersen” (Danish) butter is deservedly popular here, as also the * Insigay" brand. This is one of the articles in which we ought to be able to compete with the world, and it is to be hoped that our dairymen will try to do so.
American cheese is seldom seen in this market, and in this also we should make greater efforts to compete with the English and Flemish article.
There is a large consumption here of a very imperfectly prepared and unripened native cheese made in the province of Minas-Geraes. They are about 7 inches in diameter and 3 inches thick. I think it would be well for some of our cheese mannifacturers to enter this market with a thoroughly good article, made in a distinctive form, to mark it as American, say in the form of a cylinder of 7 or 8 inches in diameter and 9 inches in height.
American locomotives, railway and street cars, axles, &c., have a well-established reputation; agate enameled ware of American make has achieved a great success, and here Brazilian conservatism operates in our favor for English and French goods made under the same patent are rejected by buyers because they are not American.
In silver-plated ware we are gradually making a reputation, but we have to contend with a strong prejudice in favor of the French goods made by Christoftle, a prejudice which is fully 20 per cent. in favor of that market, but which can be overcome by patience, perseverance, and uniform good quality of every article bearing a certain
Our hand and borse power plantation mills, corn-shellers, iron pumps, nails, watches, clocks, saddlery, vaseline, perfumeries, &c., are slowly but surely gaining ground.
American table cutlery has made a serious inroad on the trade of Sheffield, and the sales are increasing. In that line we may safely claim the leading position. Already Sheffield has sent to this market imitations of the most popular styles of our tablecatlery, underselling us with an excellent-appearing counterfeit, which, however, does not stand the test of wear. In one case the counterfeits have been imitated by a still cheaper American ware, but this example should not be followed. We have made the trade on the merits of our goods, and if we lower the standard we shall lose it and our reputation also.
FOREIGN COMMERCE OF URUGUAI. The latest Uruguayan official returns of trade cover the year 1879. The latest returns, showing the trade of Great Britain, France, and the United States with Uruguay, show an increase as compared with the