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Coffee Trade

india, lbs, duty, west, east, foreign and 9d

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COFFEE TRADE (French, Cafe; German, Koffe, Koffebohnen ; Dutch, Koffy, Koffebomen ; Italian, Odle ; Spanish, Cafe; Turkish, Chaube; Swe dish, Koffe ; Russian, Kofe). This great branch of commerce has been wholly created since the beginning of the eighteenth century. Nearly all the coffee which now comes to Europe is the produce of trees propagated from a single plant, which, having been raised from seed procured from Mocha in Arabia by Van Hoorn, governor of Batavia, was sent by him to the botanical garden at Amsterdam, and the progeny of which was, in the year 1718, twenty years after its reception from Java, sent to Sun ram.

There is a table by Mr. M'Qneen in the appendix to the Parliamentary Re port on the Produce of India, which pur ports to show the quantity of coffee pro duced in the various countries of its growth; but there scarcely exist accurate data for such information, and the table in question is confessedly only an ap proximative estimate. The total quan tity of coffee produced in all countries is stated to be 359,000,000 lbs. (3,205,351 cwts., or 160,267 tons); but Ceylon, from which in 1844 we received 138,846 cwts., is not given in the table; and the total production of British India, from which in 1841 we imported 15,896,624 lbs., is set down at 6,245,000 lbs. The declining production of coffee in the Bri tish West Indies, though favoured by a differential duty, rendered it necessary to admit the coffee of some other region on equally favourable terms, and in 1835 East India coffee was admitted on the same terms as West India. The imports from the East Indies increased from 5,182,856 lbs. in 1835 to 15,896,624 lbs. in 1841 ; and the coffee of Ceylon in creased from 1,870,143 lbs. in 1835 to 15,550,752 lbs. in 1844. From 1831 to 1834 the annual imports of British West India coffee averaged above 21,000,000 lbs.; and in 1841, 1842, and 1843, they did not reach 10,000,000 lbs. In 1843 they were only 8,530,110 lbs.

In 1824 the consumption of coffee in the United Kingdom was 8,262,94311A., and the duties were— On foreign coffee . . 2s. 6d. per lb.

East India . . 1 6 British West India 1 0 In 1824 there was consumed Of foreign coffee . . 1,540 lbs.

East India . . . 313,513 West India . . . 7,947,890 In 1825 Mr. Huskisson reduced the duties on Foreign coffee to . . Is. 3d. per lb. East India . . . 0 9 West India . . . 0 6 The consequence was a rapid increase in the consumption, which in 1830 was 22,691,522 lbs. In 1835 there was con sumed Of foreign coffee . . 2,126 lbs.

East India . . 5,596,791 West India . 17,696,129 The consumption having overtaken the supply of those kinds of coffee which were admissable at the lowest rate of duty, had remained almost stationary for several years. At the end of 1835, there fore, the duty. on East India coffee was reduced to 6d. per lb. ; and subsequently coffee, of whatever growth, if imported from a British possession eastward of the Cape of Good Hope, or from that place, was admitted at a duty of 9d. Practi cally speaking, the duty on foreign coffee, instead of being 18. 3d. per lb., became only 9d., to which ld. must be added for the cost of additional freight from the Cape of Good Hope, whither it was sent for the purpose of being transhipped for England at a duty of 9d. instead of Is. 3d, to which it would have been subject if im ported direct. The quantity of coffee shipped for the Cape to be re-shipped for this country at the 9d. duty was estimated in 1840 at 7080 tons from Europe, 5060 tons from the foreign West Indies, 5680 tons from Brazil, and 2030 tons from Java ; and the additional cost upon this quantity, in one way or other, amounted, according to Mr. Porter's calculation, to 177,000/. a year. He showed also that "the price of all the coffee used in this country was increased to the consumer by 28a. per cwt., the difference of duty, in addition to 13s, 7d. per cwt., the ex pense of sending coffee from Europe tc the Cape and back." This increased price amounted to 533,227l., but the duty of 9d. per lb. was received only on about half the quantity imported, and the addi tional sum accruing to the Exchequer was only 192,4161.

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