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In last issue we collated the views of three of our Southern exchanges on the subject of the condition and prospeots of the wheat market, and wo now turn to those of our Christchurch contemporary, the " Lyttelton Times," on the same interesting question. That journal has recently gone into the matter m a series of articles very exhaustively, and, as we think, very fairly, and m reply to the charge of misleading sellers by taking too sanguine a view of the position, and consequently exaggerating values, challenges its critics to publish all that c»n be said on the other side. It has been represented to us, as well as to our contemporary, that the idea that the necessities of New South Wales will secure to the New Zealand growers a rate ranging from 4s to 4s 6d is entirely delusive, and that Galifornian wheat will be poured into the Sydney market with the result that little better than 4s 6d will be the price there, and con sequently that the price m New Zealand must be by so much less than that as will .balance freight, insuranco, and other charges. To this contention the "Lyttelton Times" replies "if the market there (Sydney) is exposed to be deluged with first-class Oalifornian wheat at 4s 7£d per bushel, wo can only express our utter contempt for the want of commercial enterprise among the usually shrewd morchanta of Sydney. THey being 'on lEe spot, amf well aple to gauge the requirements ot their countrymen, have been unaccountably apathetic enough to neglect an unparallelled opportunity for making their fortunes. Or is their neglect to be taken to mean that" they do not believe the wheat is to be had m San Francisco to the extent, and on the terras fancied by certain sanguine buyers ? Again, we repeat that we do not wish to flatter the hopes of our sellers. We ask them to look at the position and judge for themselves. The market is rising m New Zealand, and excited m Australia ; New South Wales will require more wheat than New Zealand can supply to save her population from starving } our millers, it is notorious, are preparing for a rise m the price of flour ; our steam shipping company has made arrangements to afford two hundred thonsand tons of freight per month to Sydney. Then, though it is true that mail steamers running to Sydney from San Francisco have brought over parcels of grain, they have only been one or two small parcels, and though it is alleged that Oalifornian wheat can be placed m Sydney at 4s 7£d, that only applies to wheat carried by gailipg vessels, a method of transit very different to that by steamship. Under these circumstances, can buyers expect that farmers will look at 8s 6d or 8s Od a bushel ? We agree that sellers will be exceedingly foolish to open their mouths too widely. _ Because 0s 3d can be got m Sydney, it does not follow that more than 4s 6d can be got here. The middleman ib entitled to his fair profit. But a shilling a bushel is more than fair profit, and we do not foel the least surprised that producers kick at it. The only advice that wo presume to give the latter is to keep their heads cool and look round them before they commit themselves. The Home market wears, no doubt, a tolerably cheerful appearance. But England can dispense with our wheat without any remarkable consequenoes following. Our wheat is a mere drop m the London ocean. It is not so m Sydney. New South Wale* must either take our wheat or go far afield and endure difficulties, expenses, and dplays m getting wheat elsewhere. As for oats, we have already pointed out that Galifornia has npne to send. It seems to us, then, that this year the Australian is par excellence the farmers' market. Apd instead of laying bo much stress upon the exceeding folly of the* farmers opening their mouths too wide, would it not be just as sensible to address this exhortation to our friend the middleman ? That gentleman is a necessary member of the community, important, industrious, and olover. He deserves to make all the profits he honestly can, and no one grudges him the reward of his shrewdness. But need the community at large desire that the middleman should make what moderate minds would think a large fortune whenever the wheat market is buoyant ? Is it not rather the interest of the community at largo that the profits of an occasion like the present should bo spread as widely as possible, and the middleman, useful and necessary as he is, should share m the windfall, part paßßu, with the farmer ? That, we confess, is our view, and that is why we think the farmer's side of the markets' position should be published and explained fully, and without foar or fryor,"

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Bibliographic details

THE WHEAT MARKET., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2089, 16 March 1889

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THE WHEAT MARKET. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2089, 16 March 1889