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BUTTER INDUSTRY ENDANGERED.

ATTEMPT TO BEAR PRICES. Though it -would be very unwise and undesirable to create an unnecessary scare, it is time that warning was given of the danger of a market corner which appeare to threaten the best interests of the butter trade. The danger may not be very advanced yet, but that is only because such a scheme would take some time in perfecting. An organised attempt, it is asserted, is in progress to manipulate the butter market, and in such a way that the industry would become the preserve of a few speculators, to the disadvantage of the producers of the Do-, minion generally. Reports have been circulated stating that the butter now on the London market is of unsatisfactory quality, containing too great a percentage of moisture. It is most likely that the fact 3 have been exaggerated, and that there is not nearly as much importance attaching to the alleged state of affairs as some would be pleased to have sellers believe. In any case it is probably a repetition of the policy on a falling market of finding that the quality is bad. It generally happens, especially when there is a falling market. We have had a succession of particularly good yeare, and this slump, even if real, is not a bad one after all, compared with the big slumps of some years ago. In any case it is too late to seriously influence the ruling rate s upon the market, as practically everything has been sent to England that was not required for local consumption and African orders. The determining factor as to whether butter will t>e a litle short or not will be the weather. At present the cold is rather severe for the time of the year, and if we have a cold and otherwise 'hard winter, no doubt the milk yield will be affected to such an extent that there will be a winter shortage. The fact seems to be that the bears are at work upon the market here, making an attempt to bring the price down, and this is accountable for the amount of talk about slump prices. Speculators are working with a view of coming in and reaping a later rise. It would appear that a corner is being tried for, but the speculators and would-be manipulators will probably find that the interests in New Zealand are too widely diffused. It is improbable that there will be any increase in prices this winter. Under exceptionally favourable climatic conditions a slight reduction in price may come Last winter a scare was created through a fear being raised that there would be a considerable shortage of butter in Australia. This shortage was only j>artly realised, and prices receded very much quicker than was expected. Some years ago there was every indication of attempt to make a corner in butter, but on bhat occasion the industry was not adi versely affected.

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BUTTER INDUSTRY ENDANGERED. Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 92, 19 April 1909

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