Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/655

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COMMERCE

307

There were in the colony 29,898 horses, 157,486 head of cattle, 1,588,611 sheep and lambs, and 43,520 pigs, on March 1, 1898.

The soil of the colony is rich in iron ore, tin, copper, and galena, and there are large beds of coal. The total number of gold-mining leases in force at the end of 1897 was 486 ; of tin-mining leases, 205 ; coal, 22 ; silver, 441, copper, 54. Gold to the value of 230, 282^. was exported in 1897, and silver to the value of 216,893^. Owing to cessation of alluvial working, the total luimber of persons employed in gold-mining has decreased from 2,060 in 1879 to 1,461 in 1896. The total number of men employed in silver mining in 1897 was 903, output 17,527 tons, valued at 197,225/. The total value of tin exports in 1897 was 150,586/. The total value of the tin exported up to the end of 1897 was 6,538,140/. The total number of men employed in coal-mining in 1897 was 133, output 42,530 tons, valued at 16,928/. Copper ore and pyrites to the value of 317,437/. was exported in 1897.

Commerce.

There are heavy customs duties, those levied in 1897 amount- ing to 351,849/., or 25-64 per cent, of the total value of imports. The total imports and exports of Tasmania, including bullion and specie, were as follows in each of the last five years : —

1893

1894

1895

1896 1897

Total imports Total exports

&

1,057,683 1,352,184

£

979,676 1,489,041

£ 1,094,457 1,373,063

£ £ 1,192,410 1,367,608 1,473,429 1,744,461

In 1897 the imports subject to duty amounted to 1,154,734Z., and the imports duty-free to 213,875/.

The exports are chiefly wool, gold, silver, tin, timber, fruit and jam, hops, grain, hides and skins, bark. The following are the values of the more important of these for five years: —

Year

Wool

Gold

Silver

and

Silver Ore

Tin

Timber and Bark

Hops

Fruit, Green and Preserved

1893 1894 1895 1896 1897

£

296,442 263,422 202,341 290,971 264,630

£ 131,104 212,929 218,308 232,180 230,282

£

153,852 217.844 227,916 222,948 216,893

£

266,156 202,454 167,754 169,038 150,586

£ 57,256 52,386 65,125 61,426 62,085

£ 13,948 22,215 18,210 21,665 18,373

£ 122,183 202,455 161,464 169,705 195 073

The chief imports in 1897 were textile fabrics and dress, 410,768/. ; art and mechanical productions, 334,539/. ; food and drinks, 282,782/.

Of the total imports those at the port of Launceston in 1897 were valued at 583,238/., and Hobart, 555,949/. ; sub-ports, 228,421/. Exports from Launceston, 602,654/. ; from Hobart, 624,957/. ; sub-ports, 516,850/.

The following gives, according to Tasmanian returns, a synopsis of the general direction of trade during three vears : —