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("Raogitlkel Advocate.") One of the most striking industrial developments whloh we have seen of late years m this oolony Is that which has converted flax, whloh bad been regarded aa absolutely waste material, Into a valuable artlole of oommeroe. Many years •go the production of the fl *xen fibre was initiated with a good deal of spirit, but with ultimate financial disaster to those who undertook it, and now, after hundreds of thousands of acres of it have been destroyed m the prooess of settlement, it has become, relatively to its extent, one of the moat valuable assets of the country, j It has jumped into being with a vigorous bound. Six months ago if one bad stood on the Wellington wharf and watched the unloading or the transhipment of cargo, the amount of flax to be seen undergoing i , the process indicated only a very small export ; new at every wharf the coastal eteamers may be seen discharging large nuantitiee. It ia a cheering fact, ' boo, that the prospects of the Industry are improving. The derrand is practically unlimited, and tbe prioe haa a hardening tendenoy, being quoted now In the English market at from £38 to £40 per ton. The full significance of this to the " jolly miller "• who deals In «uoh a way as to secure the maximum of profit from his labor, may be grasped when wa state that the outside ooat of fibre pro.notion Is estimated at £10 per ton by t&ose who know, and to plaoe it In tbe ham?* of the buyer, say from £8 to '£10 mote; thus leaving a marginal surplus, calculate-? on 1 the basis of present prioes, ofatxat £S& per ton, As regards the future of the Industry, there are people who, from accurate knowledge of the world's requirements, and the probable •apply, have predicted certain prosperity tor a long period. We heard yesterday of a gentleman who had been allowed to see m letter from one of the largest wool buyara la London. The writer predicted that the prloe would rise to over £40 per ton — a forecast evl dently about to reoelve fulfilment from ihe way tbe fibre climbs the figures—and that for three years at least the prospeots of the New Zealand Industry were guaranteed by the panolty of tbe world's supplies. This is the opinion of one m a position which enables him to estimate the chances with as muoh certainty as natters commercial admit of, and will be a comforting assurance to those who have sank their capital In the undertaking. Ofeoum, thefUx-mtller Is no r monopolising the benefits. Tbe landowner and ceeupler are reaping a profit from fisx that no other crop would yield. We hear of si much as 4s 6d per ton of green flax being paid aa royalty, and fifty tons to tbe aore nave been taken eff some sections. In another ease we heard of one gentleman paying £400 per annum for bis leasehold, sad receiving £500 a year from fl»x royalty alone. Certainly nobody will regret that the whirligig of commercial chances has turned In .favor of the fl xen fibrr« for tbe amount of mosey put into circulation by tta manipulation most be of Tf 7 fttftt benefit to the distriot,

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2058, 8 February 1889

Word Count

HEW ZEALAND FLAX Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2058, 8 February 1889