No. 520.
Mr. Farman to Mr. Evarts.

No. 208.]

Sir: I have the honor to send you inclosed copies of short reports relating to the coal trade in Egypt, which have been made at my request by our consular agents at Port Said and Alexandria. They were procured to enable me to give information on this subject to Messrs. Torrence & Co., of Philadelphia, who, as they say in a letter to me, are in control of a movement to introduce American coal into the Mediterranean, both anthracite and bituminous.

I send for them inclosed, under cover, a letter and copies of these reports, which you will please forward to Philadelphia. The copies sent you are for such use as you may deem proper. If American coal can be shipped to the Mediterranean and sold at such a price as will successfully bring it in competition with the English, the importance of the enterprise will be readily seen. The price of coal is given in the reports in English shillings and pence.

I have, & c.,

[Inclosure 1 in No. 208.]

Mr. Broadbent to Mr. Farman.

Sir: In replying to your dispatch dated the 15th instant, I regret I am unable to give you a more exact report than the following in reference to the coal imports here, as there are no means of getting particulars except from the merchants themselves, and they strongly object to give any information respecting their trade, but I trust the following brief statements will give you some ideas of the method of carrying on the business.

The imports of English and Welsh coal to this port average 250,000 tons annually, four-fifths of which are from Cardiff, and the balance from Newcastle, no other coal being brought here. The article bears the name of the mine it comes from, such as Nixon’s Navigation, generally thought the best steam coal ever mined, used by Her Britannic Majesty’s ships of war; Powell, Duffryn, Davis Merthyr, Ocean Merthyr, Taylor Steam Merthyr, Elbow Vale, these are all from South Wales; Brymbs Welsh Hartly, from North Wales; and from Newcastle, Hastings Hartly, Buddles West Hartly, and Cowpan Hartly.

This port is the largest coaling port in the East, and it will be readily understood, considering the great transit of vessels through the Suez Canal. With very few exceptions [Page 915] all the passing ships fill up their hunker spaces, those going East taking, if possible, sufficient coal to bring them back to the canal, and vessels bound home generally filling up enough to carry them to their destination. Others, to save a little in price, take enough to steam to the next coaling station in the Mediterranean, viz, Malta.

There are four firms engaged in the coaling trade here: Wills, Manchi & Co., The Port Said and Suez Canal Company, Worms & Co., and Bazin & Co.; the two former English and the two latter French.

The average price per ton, of 2,240 pounds English, is 30 shillings for the year round put on board the vessels; trimming on board being charged for extra.

The average stocks of coal kept on hand in depot and in lighters by the four firms will be about 15,000 tons each.

The discharging of coal, landing, loading, putting on board steamers is all carried on by the native Arabs, and the merchant calculates that the cost of labor and rent of depots is, on an average, 4 shillings per ton. The steamers are coaled at the rate of 100 tons per hour, and as there is always a large quantity of coal afloat in lighters, it can be got alongside a vessel in a very short time.

I am, & c.,

United States Consular Agent.
[Inclosure 2 in No. 208.]

Mr. C. M. Salvago to Mr. Farman.

No. 7.]

Sir: In answer to your letter No. 547, asking me to send you a short report upon the importation of coal, & c., I have the honor to transmit you what follows:

The quantities of coal consumed in this country amount to about 300,000 tons annually, of which—

s. d.
50 per cent. is Newcastle, present price free on board 27 6
20 per cent. is Cardiff, present price free on board 27 0
20 per cent. is North Wales, present price free on board 26 0
10 per cent. is Glasgow, present price free on board 25 0

From the above proportions it will be noticed that Newcastle is the best adapted for this market, being used almost without exception by the ginning factories with a slight mixture of Cardiff.

Before the crisis this article was sold payment due after three months, but at present 75 per cent, is sold cash. Of the total amount imported one-third is consumed by the Egyptian Government, but in this case three months’ credit is demanded and a better price generally made. The principal importers are: Messrs. B. Whit worth & Brothers, Mr. Charles Grace, Messrs. Dixon Brothers, Messrs. Barker & Co., Messrs. J. Moss & Co., Messrs. Coats worth Brothers, Mr. J. L. Wakeham, Mr. A. L. Anglatt, Messrs. D. Lacilly & Co., Messrs. Behrend Brothers, Messrs. G. Borg & Co.

The charges are 2 per cent, commission, 1 per cent, brokerage, 1 per cent. de credeie (if required), 9 per ton weighing; custom-house duty ⅔ per ton for Newcastle and 1/9 for other qualities.

Newcastle is by 3 shillings dearer than other qualities, but on account of the great scarcity of Cardiff at this moment it has risen to its present high price of 27s. f. o. b., that is, only 6d. cheaper than Newcastle.

Even at this price it is difficult to be obtained; 35s. is demanded for some warehoused lots.

I am, & c.,