The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit MONDAY, AUGUST 19, 1889 FROZEN MEAT.
The annual reports of the various meat freezing and exporting companies have this year been noteworthy for the expressions which they contain of confidence m the trade which they carry on and of satisfaction with the arrangements which now exist between them and the shipping companies. The combination of the shipping companies to exact high freights was promptly met by the freezing companies chartering vessels for themselves, and the present contract rate of freight, l^d per lb, while it pays the shipowners well enough is a reason able charge considering the nature of the freight carried. Combination on the part of shippers has reduced the total charges on mutton for slaughtering, freezing, shipping, freight, insurance, commission and the inevitable petty] charges to 2£d per lb. The charges for ' those services m 1883 having been 4d per lb it ipllows that sales m London at 3|d per lb would now give as good returns to shippers as did s£d m 1883, or to put it m another way, m 1883 the shipper received a net return of l£d per lb besides the skin and fat, and at the latest London quotation of 5d per lb the shipper will net 2^d per lb besides 8 kin and fat. At this rate a prime 65 lb crossbred wether is worth a pottnd — a price which should render sheep farming a very profitable occupation. 'J he comparative failure of last turnip crop has prevented many farmers m this district from sharing m the improvement m the mutton market, and it may not be out of place here to express a hope that the almost certain prospect of a continuance of profitable — prices will lead them to adopt methods and systems of farming which will ensure plentiful food for their sh<»p at allseasons of the year, and so be able to place their stock on the market to the best advantage, or by shipping regularly, secure the average rates of the year instead of being compelled to ship when everybody else is pouring meat into an overstocked market to be sold at minimum rates. The value of the sheep shipped from New Zealand last year was, including skins and fat, at least £850,000, and a trade which circulates that amount of money among our farmers is woith cultivating.
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