Supplement to Commerce reports


Material Information

Supplement to Commerce reports daily consular and trade reports issued by the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, Department of Commerce
Uniform Title:
Commerce reports
Volume title page for -<1920>:
Supplements to Commerce reports : review of industrial and trade conditions in foreign countries in ... by American consular officers
Portion of title:
Daily consular and trade reports issued by the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, Department of Commerce
Physical Description:
6 v. : ; 24-26 cm.
United States -- Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce
Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, Dept. of Commerce
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Washington, D.C
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Commerce -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Foreign economic relations -- Periodicals -- United States   ( lcsh )
federal government publication   ( marcgt )
periodical   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )


Additional Physical Form:
Also available in electronic format.
Dates or Sequential Designation:
Began with issue for Jan. 8, 1915?; ceased with issue for Dec. 31, 1920?
Numbering Peculiarities:
Each issue covers an individual country and bears a number corresponding to that country. Reports from the various consular districts in a country are distiguished by the addition of a letter (66a, 66b, 66c, etc.), in the order in which they are issued.
Numbering Peculiarities:
Issue no.52f, 1919, contains misprint, November 41.
General Note:
Title from caption.
General Note:
"Annual series."

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University of Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 004822593
oclc - 16390134
sobekcm - AA00005307_00060
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Related Items

Preceded by:
Daily consular and trade reports (Washington, D.C. : 1910)
Succeeded by:
Trade and economic review for ..

Full Text

ou jrr-LC _ivi


Annual Series No. 80 ^ miber 26, 1918

By J. F. Boomer, Correspondent, Mnnila.
The year 1917 brought the foreign commerce of the Philippine
Islands to its high-water mark and the internal trade of the archi-
pelago to its maximum development. It is impossible to say what
proportion of the increase in trade registered during the year was
so directly due to war conditions that it will disappear at the close,
of hostilities, but it may be safely said that a substantial part of
this expansion is the result of forces that are likely to operate after
the return of peace even more effectively than during the year
under consideration. The growth is founded upon the staple pro-
ductions of the country, and, though to a large degree war-inflated
prices have had their effect, there has been a wholesome expansion
in the production and marketing of these commodities.
Awakened Commercial and Industrial Spirit.
Probably no other year has seen so much local capital invested in
commercial and industrial enterprises or so much interest manifteled ;
along these lines. During the immediately preceding ears there hlad
been considerable academic discussion concerning the necessity of
the material development of the country to keep pace with the politi-
cal growth, but the matter had gone little further. During 1917,
however, in addition to the talk at public gatherings anti in the press
of the necessity 'for exploiting the natural wealth, there was also
the beginning of an actual and effective industrial diive that was
the outstanding feature of trade for the year. Altlhouglh it is true
that so far the awakening is greater in promise than in actual accom-
plishment, nevertheless it is worthy of first place in any studly of tlhe
commercial and industrial life of the Philippines for 1917.
No statistics of this development are available for use at pre-ent.
The new Government Bureau of Commerce and Indu1-try and the
official census now being taken will, however, record much data that
will be of great value in the study of Philippine trade.
Evidence of Progressiveness.
Certain important phazcs may, however, bI di-cuiced in general
Terms. There was obviously more purely Filipino capital inve-ted in
commerce and industries during 1917 than during any previous
year in the history of the country. This capital was comprised of
(1) hoarding, real estate mortgages. and other ultra-conservativ\
forms of investment; and (2) profits from a period of unusual pro.-
perity due to high prices and good crops in the staple export pro-
ductions. Much of this local capital was invested in various agri-
cultural enterprises, such as sugar centrals and new plantations.


For example, considerable Iprogress was made during the year in
subdividing and selling (under an act. of legislature) the well-known
San Jose estate of Mindoro, containing some 23,000 hectares (ap-
proximately 56.000 acres) of sugar land. There was a notable
eagerness among Filipinos to purchase portions of this estate, and a
great number of corporations financed by local capital were organized
for thseplrpoe of taking tracts. This incident is cited because it is
typical of the new attitude of the Filipino toward investments,
which is notably different from that displayed a few years ago.
This new attitude was alo shown in the organization of the
National Coal Co., which is capitalized at $1,500,000 and financed
in part by the Government and in part by native interests; and in
the great progress made by a local shipping establisunent.
During 1917, the new rural credit system enacted into law a few
years ago found definite acceptance among the people. Convincing
testimony of this new industrial spirit is the effort made by the
small farmer to free himself from his dependence on the commercial
"cacique," who has been his banker and to whom he has paid very
high interest-.
Agricultural Credit Cooperative Associations.
With the idea of aiding the small farmers the legislature enacted
a law in 1915 providing for the organization of Agricultural Credit
Cooperative. Associations. The act allows the incorporation of not
more. than one such society in each municipality in which a group of
farmers desires to take advantage of its provisions. The shares of
stock may have anyr nominal value up to 5 pesos ($2.50), nod the total
capital of such association. may be any amount desired by the incor-
porators. The law makes the treasurer of each municipality the
treasurer ex officio of the association organized in each, and this
official is under the direct supervision of the insular auditor. The
general supervision of these associations is placed under the juris-
diction of the director of the Bureau of Agriculture.
The activities of these s-nciatiions are directed toward extending
the financial credit of their members for four specified purposes:
1. To finance the regis( ration of their lands under the Torrens
system of land titles, or the purchase and registration of new lands.
2. To secure funds for the purchase of live stock, fertilizers, seeds,
and machinery, orof implements to be used for agricultural purposes
exclusively; and for the destruction of pests that injure or destroy
the crops.
3. To raise funds to pay encumbrances upon agricultural lands,
draft cattle, or agricultural machinery and implements.
4. To obtain money for irrigation and to defray expenses in con-
nection with the planting. cultivation, harvesting, storing, and mar-
keting of crops.
Associations a Benefit to the Farmer.
To these ends the a -sociationsi are authorized to advance to their
members, upon approved security. paid-up capital and other funds
at their disposal. These loans are usually upon .agricultural products
harvested and at the dislpoal of the associations up to 50 per cent
of the value of the same. The associations may also open credits
with their members in current accounts with interest. All such loans
or accounts must be secured by the personal signatures of persons


known to be solvent. or by pledges or other lies 1upon property.
The associations are also authorized to acquire by plurcha-e or other-
wise seeds, fertilizers, machinery, live stock, material, and equip-
ments, and to sell them to their memnber-. They may also coutnrat.
loans and receive deposit;, under certain re-trictiion, to increase
their working and circulating capital. In actual practice these asso-
ciations have, in many instance,, been able to obt:iin loans from the
Philippine National Bank for the assistance of melitbetrs who would
otherwise have been unable to borrow at that source. Tlhe have
also enabled large numbers of small farmers to finance their opera-
tions without the payment of exorbitant interest, to obtain capital for
more extensive planting, and in some instances to secure the use of
modern machinery. One le rge American iunporting firm began the
practice of selling modern nmchinery to these associations on credit
up to a large proportion of their paid-up capital. As much of this
machinery can be used by the community, the arrangeeneint gives
prominue of materially increasing agricultural production in many
During 1917 there were 74 of these associations established, and
the first steps were taken toward organizing a great number of
others that. have since been incorporated. The capital st,;ck in most
cases was $5,000, and the total subscribed stock aggregated in value
approximately $700.000. In localities where. these associations bogan
operations the interest paid for the use of money for agricultural
operations was reduced to 10 per cent per annum.
Agricultural, Commercial, and Industrial Corporations.
The new era in commerce and industry among the Filipinos is
reflected also in the unusually large number of cimlp:lnies capitalized
by Filipin,,s that w\Nre incorporated during 1917. Between 25 and
:;0. financed wholly or in part by natives and with capital aggre-
gating approximately $750,000, were incorporated to engage in
purely agricultural pursuits. Those organized for the purpo-.e of
eng'ging in -i'comicircial or industrial pursuits numbered between
Te0 aind 1el with an aggregate capital of approximately $3,000,000.
These figures show an increase of several hundred per cent over
previous yes er and indicate a most remarkable rush of Filipinos into
business pursuits. It should be borne in mind in this connection
that only a few of those who entered business during the year were
members of a corporation and that a very lar"e proportion of the
local investments was :ade by individuals and unregistered partner-
Corporations organized by resident Americans to engage in va-
rious industrial and co'mein cial pursuits during the year had a total
capit:lizatien of approximately $4,0,000.000. These figures represent
the nnominal capal l of all corporations, and it should be r,,emimbered
that the local law requires that only 20 per cent of the capitall stock
be subscribed and 25 per cent of that subscribed be paid up in order
that a corporation may be given a charter.
Younger Generations Turning to Business.
It is a fact worthy of note that the younger generation of Filipinos
is looking with more favor on commerce and industry when choos-
ing careers. Heretofore Government positions and the professions
have Lbe-n preferred. There has been an ahnlst universal disposition


to regard trade a:"'an occupation fit only for women and Chinese and
other foruiii r-, and to be engaged in by ambitious Filipino men
only in ';!N of urgvnt necessity. Recently, however, a new attitude
to\arld Iradl ha!s Ibeome noticeable, and during 1917 a number of
young ~~-mi of the very best type left the Government service to en-
tgage in bum-iii.-s. This change was undoubtedly due in large meas-
lire to a 1'ett.r iunder-tanding of the relation of business to national
exi.slnce and to the fact' that Ibsine-s in the Philippines has recently
lrbucIlje more profitable than either politics or the professions
Foreign Trade Greatest in the Histoly of the Philippines.
The foire-ign trade for 1917 was greater by a considerable margin
than ever Ibetflri- in ti!, history of Itle country. It exceeded that of
191,2. the previous record year, by more than 34 per cent, and was
greater lby nearly 40 per cent than ihe foreign trade of 1910. The
total value a, $161.-01.337, both the import and the export trade
exceeding that of any previous y'nar. The imports' for 191 were
valued at $61,607.901 and tho-e for 1917 at $65.797.031. The imports
for 1913, the aI(-te normal year, since when shipping difficulties and
other drawbn-'ka have operated to curtail imports, were valued at
$:3.31.7S6. Tlio-e for 1916 fell far below thiq figure, totaling only
It .was in the value of exports, however, that the foreign commerce
registeed ihe greatest gain. Comparing the exports with those of
1912, a difference in value in favor of 1917 is to be noted, the totals
b:iN. 9.9.,C04,306 in 1917 and $54,9-23.300 in 1912. The export trade
of 1916 was the largI.-t recorded up tot hat time, colnining unusually
large quantities with war prices' and reaching the total value of
$.6). 037,182. This record was surpassed in 1917 by greater iquan-
tities sold and higher prices received.
Imports and Exports by Countries.
The value of the trade of the Philippine Islands by principal
co unt-rie during 1916 and 1917 was as follows:
1916 1917
Imports. Exports. Total trade. Imports. E-Iports. Total trado.

Tn'ri'.i States................. $22,862,673 '35,; ; 132 j38,.510,r j $37,620,(;-1S 63,234,3,35 $l00,855,006
...iv.- l. ...................... .. 1 9 0 1 i34,0 324.133 307. :.24 170, 06 484,430
Poro o .Bieo .......... ......... 11 ............ 11, ............- ..... ............
; ...n- .................... 360 .. 55, .179 9"0 103,297 104,247
i;,' I Kingdlr ............... 2. .5 ,2.0 12.4 :4 2G 15.0a. ',20 2,9ri1,235 10,30.3,01 13.206, 319
7.1! ........ ......... .......... 4 710.1 `I 4, SI 1 7 9.5;S 105 S,211,21: 7,32.7972 15,.5 4. 190
li '.,hi L:.* :.t In d.' .. ......... A. 1 521 101 3'.7 ,50. S8S 5,210,790 413,731 5,654.524
China .................. ...... 2. 1 37. 2,2' 1. 4,'2:',.1 4,257 326 2,162. 2.9 i,419.585
......... 27 10)..117 1, 21.1.42- 11.793 5,3'4 263 5,577.016
France ....................... 63.596 2.890.217 3.523. 313 7, 874 1.4')5,434 2,233,308
Spain......................... 1.94. 2, 47,.- 1 3,,333.S27 703,479 1.737.028 2,440,507
Biili;i l.:trr Indies........... 1.0io.5')/ 1.315,Sf6 2,31'6,,:7S 1,26'9.345 911.205 2,169,55.3
.\ Ii rali. i .................... ,. G2 69. 134 1,557.SO7 1,79R,633 1,190,270 2.989.003
D)Ir.h FI-i- ]niheI ............ 1,0)3 j(77 21f0,3'9 1,21142.9- 1,0 0 OS6 213,321 1,215.410
Notll er .ilis ........... ...... 140) 131 640 293 7SO. S2 ', 455 ............ 45
I' .!1 .......................... 113 137 61,.,,20 720,. '2 9W ,395 117,261 213,656
"n1. l ....................... 6,111 683,526 (680 (1 7 14,2S0 513.314 559.591
* i ,: .Ii:l......... ....... 47.9i 1s2 907 661,822 376.9J,77 183.070 560,063
Siam.......................... il 271 1, 2,'0 329,474 351,492 22,232 376,724
Norwa ........................223......... 223,527 14,929 ............ 14.929
J.iii -" China.............. 127. 135 34.111 161,569 141.004 29,9;2 169 9~t
Si;r,, ,i, ..................... 7", 131 43 75.171 10.930 9 160.939
.'* : ;..................... 41.'.2.3 3,210 41.833 4.3,718 ............ 43,70S
l l. l Ltum ............. ......., 14,760 ............ 11.760 21, 03 ............ 21.803
ii itr. -ll. 1 1 ri ............ 3. G n ............ 3,t 0) 1.032 ............ 1,032
.All i iwt r 'unaii trii ........... 37.93, 6i2, f,32 Ci.4.570 12?.025 59.395 197.420
Total.................. 15, 1'6,333 69,937. 153 115, 133,521 65,707,031 95.604,307 161,401,339


The influence of the war on Philippine trade was ve'ry marked.
Not only was there no trade with enemy countries of central Eurolpe,
but that with the friendly powers of the Continent was much re-
duced. The trade with Great Britain was ]ess by 11 per cent than
it was for 1916; French trade was very materially reduced in volume,
being 36 per cent. less than it was in 1910; while trade with the.
Netherlands almost. disappeared. A decline of 27 p ceint in the
trade with Spain was registered. Italian trade was only one-tliird
what it was for 1916, and that with Switzerland was also le-s.
Trade with Orient Increases.
Much of the unparalleled growth in the 1917 trade \\ith J:apan,
mounting to 62 per cent over the trade, for 1916, which wag, in turn,
27 per cent greater than for the preceding year, was due to favorable
shipping conditions. The Government-sulbsidizecd Japranse lines c:ar-
ried a very large proportion of the foreign commerce of the is4ands
for the year, and this fact had a very effective influence in deter-
mining the origin of imports and the destination of exports.
On the whole, the trade with oriental countries, where the haul
was shorter and the risk to shipping le-s, showed marked inlteanse.
That with China was materially greater than for 1916 and nearly
double what it was for 1915. A similar growth was recCr'ded in tli,
trade witli Hongkong. Commerce with the Dutch Ea.-t Indies in-
creased somewhat. The small decline in trade with Frecllh colonies
was due to the falling off in the imports of rice, because of a g,'od
native crop of the cereal; however, the small export trade with these
colonies was four times as large as it was the year before. Tle trade
with Australasia, always important, was nearly doubled. At the
same time the trade with the British East. Indies fell off slightly,
with no apparent reason except. that shipping conditions were not
favorable. Trade with Japnnese China, that is, the Kwangtuin,
Territory, underwent some changes, doubtless o wing to modifications
in administrative policies. Imports from this territory inrm'eae-il
somewhat, while the exports declined. Canada took leh. of Ph;ilip-
pine products during the year, but her small import trade with the
islands increased more than 100 per ,ent.
The outstanding feature of trade relations for the year was the
enormous increase in the amount of business done with the United
States and its proportion to the whole foreign trade. Approximatelv
two-thirds of all the exports were sold in the United States- and
three-fifths of all the imports were purchased there. That is to say,
the Philippines sold to the United States products to the value of
$63,234,3.78S, and purchased there nmnirlfacturedl articles to the value
of $37,620,48S, making e he total conmiw :e with the United States
for the year $100.55',,(i more than 72 per cent greater than the
same commerce for 1916, and more than double what it was for 1915.
Cotton the Principal Item of Import.
Cotton and manufactures of cotton constituted the item of import
of the largest, individual value. reaching a total of $1 .7s7.7'i.3, or
29 per cent of the total value of all the imports. These fi,.imres
represent an increase of more than 100 per cent over the import.
for 1916 and a very substantial gain over those for any other vear
on record. The uniii.nal demand and the high prices, ti-gether viith
the facts that cargoes ordered in 1916 were not received until 191T


and that the largest importers, foreseeing an even more acute shipping
crisis thaii had prevailed in 1916, had ordered particularly heavy
siC.lrks, re-ulted in ihis unprecedented record for 1917. The value
of imports of cotton goods for the years 1908 to 1917, inclusive, was:
..,. \ ale. Year. Value. Y ar. Value.

1C- ....... .... .... ,2 2 1 ............... 19 ....... ........ 29.324,&96
1' '................. 7, 194. 0 i 13 ................. 11,84,11301 1917................. 1 ,787,003
1:'11J.. ........... .... Ill.4"),4 t .l 11914.............. .. 9, 95., 224
VIl l................. 9,231,120 1115. .. ..... .......... 11,791,414

In 1917. the United States suppllied more than 70 per cent of the
cotton goods-, as against 60 per cent of the total for 1916, 73 per cent
for 1915, and 58 per cent ior 1914. Imports from both the United
Kingdom and flapan were about 40 per cent greater than for 1916.
Imports of Iron and Steel Low-Increase in Minor Imports.
The imports of iron and steel, particularly of structural iron and
steel, were abnormally low. A larger proportion than usual was
made up of machinery. It is to be noted, however, that many sugar
mills and similar projects were held in abeyance. The depressing
effect, of high freigohts and scarcity of tonnage had perhaps more to
do with this than did the increased cost of machinery itself. About
85 per cent of the iron and steel imported was from the United States.
In point of value the imports from Japan were 32 per cent greater
than for 1916. On the other hand, those from Great Britain were
27 per cent less.
Other commodities imported in greater quantities during 1917
were cement, fibers and grass goods, leather and its manufactures,
paper and paper products, meat and dairy products, woolen goods,
silks, wood manufactures, and most foodstuffs.
Imports in general were limited by the amount obtainable. This
was particularly true of automobiles. The general testimony of im-
porters was that every shipment of machines was sold long before
it arrived.
Analysis of Imports.
Imports of automobiles and parts thereof, including tires, amounted
to $1,540,401 in 1917, compared with $1,352,572 in 1916. The value
of purchases of cattle and caraboa was $216,494, against $237,135 in
1916, and, with the exception of 1913, was the lowest on record. Im-
ports of chemicals, drugs, dye, an medicines have increased in
value during the past three, years, although there has been no increase
in quantity. Puirchases of coal amounted to $1,538,235, compared
with $1.303.994; and of leather to $1,623.908, compared with
$1.0'9,G66 in 1916. Illuminating oil, valued at $1,336,0GC was,
with the exception of the year 1912, the highest in the history of the
Philippines; other oils also showed increases, totaling $1,457,441.
Imports of silk, valued at $1,980,59-1, were more than double those
of an y previous., year. Vegetable fibers and manufactures reached a
total of $1,535,904, more than double that of any previous year.
Wood manufilctlires amounted to 3$549,214, an increase of more than
40 per cent over 1916, but --omewhat below the average for the past
10 years. Woolen man:ufactures almost. trebled the imports of 1916,
amounting to ;427,913.


Foodstuff-i, consi-ting of flour and other 1 realsl'iTs co. o, ffo'Le,
eggs, fish, fruits aud nuts, meat and dairy rl P ;1i. :t:.. i:;:r, :
vegetables, amounted to $8.81,43. Flour v, the leailinh itin,
with dairy, meat, and fish products follow" vn in the order iianiid.
The greatest increase in this line, as compared with 1'.16. \v\u -h. \\,
by dairy products, the value of which reached new !, higi: level.
Meat )product-,'thlough showing an increa:-,- over xi1;, were still -1 n-
siderably below the average for the pa)ft 10 year-.. Large pinir l,-ea
of fruits and nuts and fish products we-re inad.. Impi rs of e1ggs
were the lowest since 1909. Sugar and molasse-, the imports of whli'lI
totaled $3,80,5;0 in 1912, amounted to little more than 10 per cit
of that sum for 1917. Vegetables have shown a slight increase, each
year for some tine past.
nIports of minor commodities not separately listed amount,'d to
$4,459.145, as compared with $3,104,001 for 1916.
Hemp Industry Retains leading Position.
The hemp industry maintained its position at the lIladl of Philip-
pine products in the scale of commercial values. In spite of the.
shipping handicap placed upon all exports throughout the year, the
1917 exports of hemp, under the stimulus of war prices, surpaz-.ed
those for 1916 by the substantial margin of approximately 32.000-
metric tons. the figures being 109,000 tons for 1917.and 137,-i0i tons
for 1916. Measured by values, there was an increase over 1916 of
more than $20,000,000. The value of all hemip reports dtiniig 1917,
exclusive of knoltid hemp and that exported as cord:ge. was
$46,807,779 and that for 1916 was only s2 ,;0..... As right be
expected, high prices not only stimulated the production of fiber
from the plantations already in cultivation, but had the effect also
of giving an impetus to the planting of new fields. Reports froin
the hemp regions, particularly from Davao and ,other parts of Min-
danao, indicate that the laying out of new plantations went forward
with unusual interest. The area cut over during the year was some-
what larger, being- 844,159 acres, as compared with S19.733 acres.
It is worthy of note that most. of the increase in tlh export of
hemp was taken by the TUnited State... Shipments to the United
Kingdom had about the same volume as for several years. Tho',- to
Japan showed a high percentage of increase in both quantity and
value and may be expected to increase in volume from year to ye;r,
because of the large number of Japanese naeiuiri ng plair taions in the
hemp regions.
It is also to be noted that the United States continued to take tle
better grades of hemrp, as indicated by the high ;averae vale per
metric ton of the exports to the United States. The average value
per ton for all hemp exported during 1917 was 8'27;.Jl. w\vile tlo
average value of that exported to the United State-. was 310.10
per ton.
Exports of Sugar, Tobacco, Lumber, etc.
Although the year 1916 showed higher returns in re-pect to the
value and quantity of sugar exports, the average value per metric ton
in 1917 amounted to $59.62, which is the highest unit price on record.
Lack of transportation was the cause of the decline. as reports from
the sugar districts showed that, although crops were not large, the


warthoiuses were filled at the end of the year with stocks that could
not be moved. The value of sugar exported amounted to $12,277,679,
less than two-thirds that of last year, and only 12.8 per cent of the
total value of all exports, as compared with 26.5 per cent for 1916.
The United States took approximately one-third of the entire output.
The total value of exports of tobacco products reached the sum of
$7.150.540, as compared with $5.826,173 in 1916 and $3,704,934 in
1915. The greatest gain was shown in cigars, the value of those, as
well as of cigarettes, being the highest recorded. The value of other
tobacco exports showed a decline as compared with 1916, but exceeded
that for any other year. The total number of cigars exported
amounted to 2.4.524.500, valued at $4,794,096, or an average of $16.84
per 1.000. The United States took almost three-fourths of this output
at $3.SG2.S93, or an average of $19.10 per 1,000, which was consider-
ably higher than the average price elsewhere.
Exports of lumber amounted to $411,780 in 1917, which was
slightly less than the value of the 1910 shipments. Tanguile again
ranked first as to quantity and value, although the shipments were
not as large as in 1916.
Exports of maguicy continued to increase in value, amounting to
$2,348.246 in 1917, the highest value on record. The quantity, how-
ever, was less than in 1916.
The value of exports of pearl buttons and shells (black-lip pearl,
golden-lip pearl. green snail, tortoise, and trocha) amounted to-
I:-i:.714, a considerable decrease in comparison with the years 1915
and 1916.
Remarkable Development in Coconut-Oil Industry.
The mo-t important industrial development of the year was
shown in the manufacture of co~ onut oil on a large sr'ale. Prior
to 1917, nearly all of the co:onults grown in the Philippines had
been nianufai tired into copra, which was exported to Europe and
to the United States., Two modern coconut-oil factories, of con-
siderable capa',ity each, had been built and had made some prog-
ress in the industry, although not running at their full capacity.
The folloNwir, table shows the amount (given in kilos of 2.2046
pounds) and \alu, of coconut oil and copra exported for the years
1912 to 1916:
Coconut oil. Copra.
Iiljs. Value. Eil ,s. Value.

1912........................ ............. ...... ............ ............ ll, 2,1 9,899,45 7
191 1.......... ...................................I 5.!0 429 S 1, 116.329 82.219 :so3 7,94l,270
1911 .......... ....................................... ii 1 ..2 2, t.'19, 13 7.04 1 9. ..-.3 724
19 1 ................................................ 1.3, '64. I. 2 20. 0i1 139 (092,.902 11, 111.5,.4
19l i. ................................................. 1 i, U 19 3,2 7.31 72 277, 61 7. 11.970
1917................................................. l, j 19, 415 11,409,1I7 92,IS0,326 8,327,150

The quiistioi now uppermost in the minds of the oil manufac-
turers-many of whom have already made fortunes in the industry
amn none of whom have yet lost money in operating-is apparently
that of the ccntinueld supply of copra for crushing. Careful calcu-
l]tiions lhi;el on tlhe amount of copra hitherto exported, the number
of expellers niw sloperatiing. and the amount of copri required to
kev'p these suppllitd. live ltd to the conclusion that a time will come


when there will not be enough copra produced in the islands to kiep
all the factories in operation. There is, however, :an IIuncil.vtain
element in t1ih lprob)lemil, nanI ly, the expan ,in ipssIble in the niann-
factllre of copra from the nulti no1w actually grown, :Inld from those
to be obtained from the groves nIewly coming into Iearing. That.
this element i. of immiren., inporta ;ne. is evi!nc!ied by the fact thal,
notwithstanding the stuiipendoiis increase from 5.010.4-29 kilo, 1f oil
man fact uredI in 1913 rl, 4.1l!S.41.5 kilos in 1917, the aunilumt, of :.c'pra
exported has been al)ppa;rently unaffected, having been even greater
during 1917 than it was during 1913.
During 1917, eilit. idditiOnal corrporation-, formund for the
establishing of coconut-oil mills, and six of tho,.e got tliir plant-, in
operation, with a total of some 25 additional expellers. In the me;an-
while the previously existing plants ircreneld their -equipment to a
total of 40 expellers and 24- presses. Tle expansion in the indli.-try
begun during 1)917 on such a largei scale has since continn el, and
there are now about 25 firms organized for the purpose of manufac-
turing coconut oil, nearly all of which have their machinery on the
ground and in operation, making a total of approxim-atly 1'50O ex-
peller.w and 50 hydratilic pre-esi actually turning out oil. In addition,
there are five or six additional concerns making rapid preparation
for the installation of approximatelyy 20 more expellers. Undoubtedly
the figures for 1918 will show an increase in exports of coconut oil
over those of 1917 as remhrk:able as the increase in 1917.
Shipping Statistics-Bl9ance of Trade.
In view of the fact. that the foreign trade was greater in both
value and qulanity in 1917 than in any previous vyeor. it is remarkable
thal considerably fewer vessels entered and cleared Philippine ports
than during other years. Presumably, all vessels calling during
1917 were well laden both inward and outward bound.
Although credited with 15 per cent lec- cargo than in 1916, British
vessels still carried the largest proportion of Philippine commerce
in 1917.
Both American and Japanese bottoms increased, the forImer hlav-
ing 03 per cent and the latter 27 per cent of the total tonnage.
Although ranking third in the total carrying trade, Ameri'-i n ves-
sels tirns.orted a larger portion of the exports than did Japan'*Re
ships and almost, eqitled the volume carried by British vessels. In
point of value, Norwegian vessels ranked fourth, and native veq-els
Thie balance of trade in favor of the Phillipines for the year
amounted to 290,807,_7. This unusual balance was no doubt due
very largely to war conditions which made it difficult, to procure the
classes of foreign goods required by the local market and generally
hampered the import trade. Under normal conditions, tlie value
of imports will probably always be very near that of exports.
The classes of foreign goods consumed in the country are increasing
year by year, and the tendency is toward the use of more and more
imported foods and dre.:s goods. To spend to the limit, of the income
is a national trait.
Financial Condition Promising.
The volume of money in rirclaition during the year was more
than $17,500,000 larger than in 1916, the increase, being felt both


in the channels of trade and in the experience of the individual.
'The, prevailing prosperity of the country was reflected in the busi-
ni(-s i annatted lby the various banks. Each of these had a very
good year. the conlparativelv new Philippine National Bank being
renimarkably .i;cce-...ful. The finances of the Government also profited
hb the high tide of commerce. The treasury surplus for the period
:niii(ci tcd to $12.000.000, of which $4,500,000 remained unappro-
priaitid at the end of the year.
'lThe internal revenue colle tions for 1917 indicated a healthy
r(enditilon of internal trade. Those derived from the business tax
were $1,390,548 greater than the saine for 1916, testifying that the
1,lsinless on whi hi this tax was paid had increa.ced by $39,000,000.
The internal revenue returns from taxes paid on spirits and cig-
arelttes of domestic production and con'uiimption reflected the in-
creased spending ower of the people. The revenue renu realized from
the tax on distilled spirits was greater by $721,187 than that in
1916. which was also an unusually prosperous year, and repre-
Sented an increased consumption amounting to about 50.000.000
liters. An increase of $'201.S1 in the tax collected on cigarettes
indicates that .33i00,000, more domestic cigarettes were smoked in
1917 than in 1916.
iinreass in varying amounts were noted throughout the list of
other artilcs on which such taxes are cnlle ted. evilden ing a greater
con(lsnll)ption of all nf goods in the idoimestic trade. The
total internal revenue, was $4,6053,61 more than that collected for
Lack of Tonnage Hampers Business.
Owing to the shortage of ships, already keenly felt in 1916. the
Vyar 1917 opened with stocks low in almost every clas; of imports.
Thlroi ',zll,'t the year the sarce condition prevailed. The demand
for merchandise \was always lively, and importer-s were able to sell
much niir gnoIs than tlhey could deliver. Trade also prospered
,g the retailers, the rthe problem with them, as with the im-
porters and distrilbutors, was to get the stocks to supply the demand.
('argo spa'e wna at a prrmiiim throughout, the year. Import.
orders were long delayed, and gcods bought on the cuistomiary GO and
90 days were paid for long L before they arrived. Freight advanced
to ilnprecc'ilnted heights. Importers without large capital to draw
o11 were often unable to meet their drafts on account of delayed
shipments and their in:aility to have the gods on hand for sale
lifrra the drafts were presented.
The demanld- of the war called so many vessels from trans-
Pacific( routes that the pirobllemi of getting tonnage for the importa-
tion of the bare ineoeesities and for the movement of products urgently
Sie'king export- be-amnie very sri's. The situation was somniwha.
improved by the establishment of a trans-Pacific service by the
Pacific Mail Steamiship Co. Beiinning with June. a number of Ger-
11:mn vessels that hlad been interned in Philippine waters carried
local products to the United States as they were ready to be called
into the Felderail service. But in spite of these ships and of arrange-
nients made dirrint, the last nimonthl of the year with the United
States Shipping Board whereby a certain amount of tonnage, con-


sisting of a number of sailing vessels and some steaimor, wa.9 allowed
to the islands, the situation was not relieved in time to affect the
commerce of 1917.
Interisland Shipping-Shipbuilding Industry.
As ocean tonnage became scarce, winog to thle exigencir-, Iof the nwr,
a number of vc-sel-, engaged in Philippl-ne. interisland trade. were
sold abroad at very high prices. The loSs of thlle- boats was felt
keenly by the growing interisland comn-1lr,'. During 1917 -eeral
small ve-sel]. purchased abroad wero added to the local carrying
service, and seven of the smaller of the internedl Gernlan ships, re-
garded as unfit for longer ocean voyag es. were c(.'hrtereil and have
constituted a valuable addition to the inlerisland and Philippine-
Asiatic trade; however, there wa1s fill difficulty in findi.n liottoniis
for the local carrying trade.
This scarcity of interislandl onnage gave rie to what pro!mi-e. to
be an important shlipluilding" industry. In October a1 company was
organized in Zimlboanga, with yards at I;labela de B:lilan, to engage
in the building of ships and lighters. The company :.tarted with
several contracts on hand. In November, preparations were I ,-lgin at
Cadiz, Oriental Ne,,ro,. for the building of a stanldrdized type of
five-masted schooner intended for the tran.,-Pa-ific trade. Tlie (;dliz
plant ws to ,tart with two ships. During Novenmber a yard estab-
lished atthe mouth of the Bolinao River launched a 500-ton auxiliary
schooner for the interisland trade. Several small y;alrd e-tablislhil
in the environ, of MA\Lnila promise to add to the interi-landl fleet
vessels of considerable importance. Altog.ioeIcr there are 18 different
conipanies or individuals e gd in shipbuiildin in slbuiiva rious localities
in the Plhilippines.
Notable Increase in Trade with Japan.
One notL-\:rrthy feature of Philippine co(iiinrce d'iiri ng 1917 was
the enormousl.l increvae in the tr..dl: of Japan with the archipelago
and the participation of Japanese in the internal trade annd de\elop-
ment of the islands. A colnmprison of the figures for the years, 1914
and 1917 will indicate the ininmense -ain mnade by Japan in its partici-
pation in the foreign commerce. In 1914 Japan's share in the im-
port trade of the Philippines amounted to i33.'"42 (iil in 1917
to $s,210.218, or considerably more than double tlhe former aIount.
Its participation in the export, trade showed even greater g;iins. In
1914 Philippine products to the value of '.2,993.84.) were sold in
Japan, whereas the sales during" 1917 anmunted to $7,: 27.972. These
figures show the total trade of Japan with the Philippines to ha ve lbeon
$6,027.4S7 for the year 1914 and $15..544,190 for 1917. This re-
nmarkable increase in the commelrcil intercourse with J'apan raised
that country from third to second place in the list of nations trad-
ing with the Philippines.
It is a fact worthy of note that upward of 30 corporations fin:n.rced
by Japa)ne:, e capjit;l i.wre organized during the year to engage in
agricultural enterprises in the Danvo district alone. The number
and capitalization of there corporations are about the same as those
of the agricultural corporations financed by Filipino capital for
the whole archipelago during the year. Japanese capitalists also
entered the sugar ind(utry of the Philippines.


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