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Tub difference m the price paid for wheat and the price charged fur flour, aa quoted m our commercial column last week, is so large that until the whole of the figures are given and explained many people will regard it as incredible. We have been told by a leading miller that the comparative values of wheat m the intercolonial and other markets have nothing whatover to do with the value of the same product here, but that the only way to arrive at a correct calculation is to take the market price of flour and reckon from that to get the real value of wheat This will strengthen the cbbo and make the local value at least 2s per bushel more than present quotations. The sum is an easy one, and any farmer possessed of ordinary intelligence can work it out for himself. To begin with, the quantity of wheat required to make a ton of flour mußt be known, and m Australia, if superior machinery is used, a ton of flour can be made from 42 bushels of good wheat, but m Canterbury the amount varies from 44 to 47 bushels. We will give 46 bushels, although rather above the average, and this at 8s ! per bushel makes a total of £6 18s. The cost of grinding, including rent, wages, etc., is 10s, and this brings the I cost to the miller up to £7 Bs. The weight of the wheat will be 2760 pounds, and allowing the odd 60 pounds for waste (1 pound per bushel is sufficient), the total comes down to 2700 pounds. Out of this, 2000 pounds will be good flour, and the balance sharps and bran. We will treat the whole of the offal as bran, that being the article the miller sells cheapest, and give him the advantage . The 700 pounds, or 85 bushels, of bran at 10d per bushel returns £1 9s 2d, and the latter sum added to the former value of 2000 pounds of flour £11 makes a total of £12 9s 2d. Take the cost of the wheat and grinding jQI 8s from the total amount derived from the sale of flour and bran £12 9s 2d, and there ib a gross profit of £5 Is 2d. Millers are well paid if they get a profit of 10s per ton, and at this rate a well appointed mill will earn from £7 to £10 per day for its proprietor over and above the working expenses and other charges which have to be provided for m connection with the business. The present market price of flour is from £10 to £11, and taking the latter quotation as the price mostly paidrrras lower quotations are for very large parcels — it will be seen that if the miller paid 5s per bushel for the wheat he could then make a clear profit on his ton of flour and offal of 19s 2d. Millers, however are not content with even such a profit as this, and they are only offering 8s per bushel for now wheat. The price of flour is kept to the above high figure, although the cost of the wheat and grinding at the price the millers offer is only £7 Bs, and if they sell the flour at £11 and offal at lOd per bushel, they make a gross profit of £5 Is 2d on the 46 bushels of wheat, | and this shows that the miller is getting a much greater profit than b,e is m any way entitled to, He should either give 5s per bushel for wheat or else bring the price of flour down to £7 10s or £8 per ton. To put it shortly, if wheat is only worth 3s per bushel, the highest value of flour is not more than £8 per ton, and this being the case, it follows that the consumers of bread are paying far too much for that commodity, yet without benefiting the farmer who grows the grain, m consequence of the great amonnt of profit secured by the milier ? who is the middle man between the grower wft consumer.

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Bibliographic details

THE PRICE OF WHEAT AND FLOUR., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2074, 27 February 1889

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THE PRICE OF WHEAT AND FLOUR. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2074, 27 February 1889