Ashburton Guardian Office, Wednesday evening. The usual fortnightly stock sale was held yesterday afternoon. The entries were more numerous, and the lines quitted showed a much better demand. Prices for stores have advanced 15 per cent owing to the quantity of pasture now in the district. Fat cattle have also improved in value : sheep are not so much in demand : pigs realised good prices. The following is a summary of yesterday’s transactions ;
Messrs Acland, Campbell, and Co. disposed of about twenty head of cattle at the following rales—cows, £5 5s to and £8 5s to £10; heifers, £4 to £8; sheep, crossbreds, 8s 6d. Messrs Bullock & Co. sold ten head of stores at prices ranging from £4lss to £7. Messrs Matson & Co. had about 140 head entered and succeeded in disposing of 118. Springers, from £5 to £5 7s 6d ; small calves, 25s ; yearling steers in good condition, £3 17s 6d to £4 17s 6d, yearling heifers, £3 2a 6d ; dry cows, £6 15s ; good milkers up to £11; and a lot of sucking pigs from 20s to 255. Mr Alfred Harrison disposed of heifers from £6 to £7 and pigs at 30s. COMMERCIAL REPORT. FOR WEEK ENDING OCTOBER 28, 1879. (Front our Christchurch Correspondent. ) I have to report a very limited business in grain during the past week. This state of affairs must of course be looked for at this season of the year, when produce generally has passed out of the hands of the fanners, or gone into consumption. Added to this, the demand for seed has become almost nil.
One feature in the past week’s transactions I consider should not be overlooked in our attempt to investigate the signs of the times. Insurance and Bank shares have shown considerable animation, more particularly in N. Z. Bank, N. Z. Insurance, South British and Union Insurance shares. I think this, above all others, shows that capitalists and investors have every confidence in the soundness of the policy adopted by these institutions, and and that they believe better times must follow a good harvest. At a meeting of the creditors in the estate of Mein, butcher, of Christchurch, a statement giving an account of the working of the business for six months under inspectorship does not, on the face of it, show profitably for the trustees. In fact, according to the balance sheet submitted, there is an actual loss of several hundred pounds on the transactions. I understand an offer was submitted by a gentleman who has far and away the largest interest in the estate, of about equal to 4s 2d in the £, and after considerable discussion among the creditors it was accepted, after some slight modification. Some few failures have been gazetted during the week, mostly small traders and mechanics. However, as retrenchment is ■ now the order of the day, I hope in a short time to see the last of these “ black spots in our morning papers.” The Association for the fostering, encouraging, and protection of native industries is evidently making itself felt, although all must admit this is a subject open to a variety of opinions, both for and against. I consider a very large amount of good may result from their well-di-rected endeavors to create an interest in a subject affecting the welfare of every new country, viz.,—What shall we do with our surplus labor, and how best utilise the splendid resources of New Zealand 1 I belive a communication has already been received from the Committee appointed by the General Assembly to consider the question, and that the representatives of the different industries are holding meetings nearly every evening, so as to place their views before the Committee at an early date. gome anxiety is felt for the safety of the ship Eaiowsley Hall, now some ‘hundred and fifty days out from London, and I believe I am correct in stating that .up to the present time she has not been spoken since her departure from England. I hear she was deeply laden with railway iron and a general cargo, and had' on board about 50 passengers. I sincerely trust she may put in an appearance, and so relieve the minds of . many colonists who have friends on board. The wheat market, if anything, is slightly firmer. In barley I have heard of a consi-
derable parcel having been disposed of at equal to 5s 6d for fair medium quality. I anticipate a few small lots being offered shortly now the planting is nearly completed. The oat market feels the effect of the low rates ruling, both in Sydney and Melbourne, which usually absorb a large proportion of our surplus stock. I fear, unless some unforeseen circumstance should transpire, oats must open very low to induce speculators to operate to anyextent. I note from a perusal of late Sydney files sound prime oaten hay fetches as high as £8 per ton. This fact should encourage our farmers to push our interests with the West Coast, by cutting some of the early sown crops, and taking advantage of the high prices ruling elsewhere.
Potatoes still command extreme prices, several sales having v come under my notice at £6. Ido not remember to have seen stocks so thoroughly cleared out for years, and anticipate a further rise before it is possible to supply our requirements with new potatoes from the north.
Salted hides are of better value, and have advanced in Sydney and Melbourne about to equal to £d to |d per lb, and remain firm at quotations.
Xivyviij L/vM lUm jl pel Ivlli Sharps, £3 10s. Bran, £4 15s. Ba.ley meal, £3 ss, Potatoes, £6 to £6 10s. per ton. Onions, £l6 per ton, for prime ; inferior, no sale. Cheese, to 6|^d. Butter, lid. Bacon, for mixed cases. Meadow hay, £4 15s. Straw, £3. Salted Hides, 3d to 3%d. Butchers Fat, ij£d. to i&'d. Woolpacks, in trade parcels, 2s 8d to 2s pd. Cornsacks 7s to 7s 3d. Best twine, is 3d.
QUOTATIONS. s. d. s. d. Wheat, milling, per bush 4 9 to 5 0 Chick Wheat .. 3 8 „ 4 0 Rye Corn » 5 0 0 0 Buckwheat » 11 0 ,, 0 0 Oats, feed ,, 2 3 » 2 4 ,, seed ,, 2 4 •• 2 6 ,, milling „ 2 4 » 2 6 Barley, feed „ 3 0 „ 3l 6 ,, malting .. 5 0 i> 6 0 Maize „ 4 4 .. 4 9 Peas, seed „ 4 9 .. 0 0 „ feed 4 3 .. 0 0 Beans, old > f 4 9 0 0 ,, new Rye Grass 4 4 .. 0 0 .. 3 9 ,, 4 6 Flour, best town brands, iitpe :r ton.
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