« PreviousContinue »
to 16.1 in 1911; oleomargarine, oleo oil, tallow, and salted and pickled beef were all highest in the five years 1905–1909.
The total for pork and its products reached the highest export mark, 102.2, in 1900–1904, and fell to 65.9 in 1911. Some pork exports were highest in 1905–1909, and these were salted and pickled pork and lard.
Lard compounds are represented by 16.8 in 1893–1899, by 68 in 1900–1904, by 132 in 1905–1909, and by 135.5 in 1911. Mutton also is able to increase its exports, and at the end of the period of 42 years under examination has the index number 164. Again, in the case of animal oils not specially named, there is a similar tendency, and the number for 1911 is 226.
In the case of cotton the exports were 35.7 in 1870-1879, and the number steadily rose to 110.9 in the five years 1905–1909. It was 85.7 in 1910 and 107.8 in 1911.
Dried apples gained steadily until 101.1 was reached in 1905–1909, and fell to 64.6 in 1911, but fresh apples have gained to the last year, for which the number is 146.7. Both prunes and raisins have an upward tendency to 1911, the former being represented by 133.8 and the latter by 367.1. Glucose and grape sugаr may be added to the list of products with gaining exports.
Barley has fallen from 109.9 in 1900–1904 to 89.1 in 1911; corn and corn meal, from 117.8 in 1900–1904 to 69.3 in 1911; oats, from 123.4 to 13.4; rye and rye flour, from 139.5 to 2; wheat, from 131.8 to 28.6; wheat flour, from 118.8 to 65.5. Bread and biscuit had highest exports, 124.8 in 1880–1884, and after a decline to 96.1 in 1905–1909 rose to 111.1 in 1911.
Hay declined from 111.8 in 1900–1904 to 72.2 in 1911; cotton seed, from 120 to 37.1; clover seed, from 133.3 to 39.7; beans and pease, from 102 to 77.8.
On the contrary, corn-oil cake has advanced to 164.1 in 1905–1909 and to 275 in 1911; hops to 115.5 in 1905–1909; cottonseed oil cake and oil-cake meal to 104.4 in 1905–1909; flaxseed, oil cake, and oilcake meal to 110.7; cottonseed oil to 108.4; linseed oil to 134.3; rice to 165.8; rice bran, meal, and polish to 106.6; flaxseed to 110.2; timothy seed to 123.1; onions to 125.2; potatoes to 124.9 in 1905–1909 and to 262.9 in 1911.
Tobacco had the index number 85.4 in 1890–1899; 101.1 in 1900-1904; 98.9 in 1905–1909; 110 in 1910; and 109.4 in 1911.
The numbers quoted in the foregoing presentation may be regarded as fairly indicating the upward or downward tendency of exports of the products mentioned.
Most of the cereals and their products, all of the animals and most of the meats and their products are going down in quantity of exports, and these three great general classes of products have filled a large place in the body of exports. Only mutton and unspecified animal oils, rice and its bran, meal, and polish, corn-oil cake, glucose and grape sugar, and perhaps bread and biscuit in these three great groups of exports display a tendency to increase. ·
A long record of increase is presented by cotton, hops, and tobacco. Comparatively recent products have joined the old list and give evidence of increase. Among these are cottonseed oil and flaxseed and cottonseed oil cake and oil-cake meal, linseed oil, flaxseed, and lard compounds. Among the fruits that are gaining are prunes, raisins, and fresh apples, and among the vegetables are onions and potatoes.
ECONOMIC RESULTS OF COLD STORAGE.
SPECIAL INVESTIGATION BY THE DEPARTMENT.
REASONS FOR THE UNDERTAKING. Investigations of cold storage have heretofore been directed toward the subject from the point of view of the pure-food advocate. Legislation, actual and proposed, assumes that foods are kept in cold storage in large quantities for long periods of time, so long that the qualities of the foods deteriorate. Particular instances of storage for periods longer than a year and even two years have had prominent publicity and the inference has been drawn that such long-time storage is common. The cold-storage men were not believed when they asserted that the time of storage was usually not excessive. It has been charged against them, too, that they use cold storage for speculation and for squeezing consumers.
Because of lack of information with regard to the management of cold storage and in view of some current criticisms of the business this department made an investigation in September and October of this year.
METHOD OF PROCEDURE. Schedules were prepared for statements of quantities of receipts of fresh beef, mutton, and pork; of dressed poultry, butter, and eggs, and of fresh and frozen fish during each month during a period of two years. The period began with March, 1909, for dressed poultry, eggs, and fish; with May, 1909, for the other commodities.
The schedules also provided for a statement of the deliveries each month out of storage to the end of August, 1911, against the receipts of each month.
Another schedule was designed for a report of the charges of storage and of the weights of packages.
The bulk of the cold-storage business is carried on in towns and cities where the Bureau of Animal Industry performs meat inspection, and at all of these places the inspectors in charge were requested to apply to the owners or managers of cold-storage warehouses, whether public or private, for the information indicated by the schedules. Warehouses outside of the area of the jurisdiction of the inspectors were approached by mail. The services of the Bureau of Animal Industry in this undertaking were performed with fidelity and with as high a degree of thoroughness as the local circumstances permitted.
The schedules that were returned were placed in charge of the Bureau of Statistics of this department for tabulation and the derivation of such results as could be extracted from them.
It appeared in the progress of the undertaking that many warehouses did not keep their records in such form as to permit the making of the statements requested, or at any rate not without a practically impossible amount of work. Many of the warehousemen made the reports after weeks of laborious efforts. With two or three exceptions, the disposition of the warehousemen was to make the reports and to give publicity to the features of their business provided for in the schedules.
It may not be generally understood that cold-storage warehousemen who do a public business rent space to the owners of commodities. The goods stored are owned by the customers and not by the warehousemen. In private warehouses, such as are owned and used by the meat vackers, the commodities stored are owned by themselves.
COMPILATION OF PRICES FOR 30 YEARS.
In connection with the application to the cold-storage warehousemen for statements, several experts in the Bureau of Statistics exhausted the resources of the library of this department and of Congress, and the libraries of other departments, in collecting wholesaleprice quotations of the commodities included in the investigation. The first quoted price of each month was taken as far back as October, 1880, and from that time to October, 1911. During this period of 30 years grades have changed, and also the quoted grades. Error due to this fact as avoided by taking prices for grades that remained uniform from October to October of the next year, since the series of 13 prices for each year, October to October, was to be converted to index numbers based on the mean monthly price for the year. The purpose of this compilation was to observe fluctuations before cold storage existed or was of considerable account, and to compare with fluctuations in recent years, during which this business has grown to large proportions.
IMPORTANT CONCLUSIONS WARRANTED. Out of the great mass of details contributed by the warehousemen and obtained by the price experts and out of the profusion of the derived results extracts are made for concise and pointed conclusions. The information obtained is sufficient to alter some old views with regard to cold storage, and it also establishes new ones.
LENGTH OF TIME IN STORAGE.
PRINCIPAL MONTHS WHEN COMMODITIES ARE RECEIVED. Warehousemen were requested not to include in their reports commodities whose owners intended to keep them in cold storage only a few days and to make no report for a warehouse doing only a temporary accommodation business. No reports, also, were to be made for fresh meats in coolers; nor was the time passed in coolers to be added to the time in cold storage proper.
The two years covered by the investigation begin with March for dressed poultry, eggs, and fish; with May for fresh beef, mutton, and pork and butter.
The principal months when fresh beef is placed in cold storage are September, October, and November; mutton, August, September, and October; butter, June, July, and August, and sometimes May; eggs, April, May, and June. Pork is quite well distributed throughout the year, and the prominence of winter in the receipts into cold storage is barely perceptible. Poultry is made up of diverse eleInents. Broilers go into storage from the latter part of August until November and roasters from October to December. There are besides the different varieties of poultry. November, December, and January, and sometimes October, are the heaviest storage months.
With regard to fish, there seems to be no regularity in the heavy months; the three heaviest months in the year beginning with March, 1909, were August, November, and January, but in the following year the months were April, July, and December. The kinds of fish that go into cold storage are seasonable, and the natural supply does not last throughout the year. There are also often two storages for fish. In the initial one the fish is received fresh at the place where caught and kept a length of time determined by circumstances. This place is not usually one of consumption, so that in that event the fish is transferred frozen to cold storage at a place where it is to be consumed. In this investigation the two storages are added together in stating time of storage.
During the three heavier cold-storage months of 1910–11, 47 per cent of the fresh beef placed in cold storage during the whole year was received into the warehouses; 59.8 per cent of the fresh mutton; 59.2 per cent of the dressed poultry; 70 per cent of the butter; and 79.4 per cent of the eggs.
DELIVERY WITHIN SPECIFIED NUMBER OF MONTHS.
“ Delivery” is the word used in the business to indicate a taking out of storage, because the deposit is delivered back to the owner.
The New York cold-storage law of this year limits the storage of foods to 10 months, except that butter may remain for 12 months. The New Jersey law of this year fixes a limit of 10 months. The Heyburn bill assigns a limit of seven months to fresh beef, four months to veal, pork, and mutton, and three months to lamb, poultry, game, fish, eggs, and butter.
It is established by this investigation that 71.2 per cent of the fresh beef received into cold storage in the year 1909–10 was delivered within three months, 28.8 per cent of the fresh mutton, 95.2 per cent of the fresh pork, 75.7 per cent of the poultry, 40.2 per cent of the butter, 14.3 per cent of the eggs, and 35.5 per cent of the fish.
Within four months after it was received 86 per cent of the fresh beef was delivered, 42.7 per cent of the fresh mutton, 96.5 per cent of the fresh pork, 85.3 per cent of the poultry, 53.4 per cent of the butter, 22.6 per cent of the eggs, and 49.5 per cent of the fish.
The percentage of receipts delivered in seven months is 99 for fresh beef, 99.3 per cent for fresh mutton, 99.9 per cent for fresh pork, 96.1 per cent for poultry, 88.4 per cent for butter, 75.8 per cent for eggs, and 64.9 per cent for fish.
Lastly, let the percentages for the deliveries of 10 months be stated. These are represented by 99.7 per cent for fresh beef, 100 per cent for fresh mutton and pork, 98.9 per cent for poultry, 97.8 per cent for butter, 99.9 per cent for eggs, and 77.5 per cent for fish.
It is possible to parallel the above statement with one for the following year, 1910–1911, for the deliveries of three and four months, but not for a longer time. The figures for three and four months are most of them considerably below those quoted for 1909–10.
The important observation to be made is that the receipts into cold storage are entirely or very nearly exhausted by the deliveries within 10 months.
PERCENTAGE OF RECEIPTS HELD LONGER THAN A YEAR.
So common is the belief that large quantites of food are held in cold storage for more than a year that it is worth while to learn what fraction of the receipts of the warehouses embraced in this investigation has been in storage longer than 121 months. In March, 1909, poultry was placed in some of these warehouses; on September 1, 1911, 29} months afterwards, not any remained. All of the other commodities covered by this investigation had been delivered. The same fact applies to the commodities received 284 months before.