Supplement to Commerce reports


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Supplement to Commerce reports daily consular and trade reports issued by the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, Department of Commerce
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Commerce reports
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Supplements to Commerce reports : review of industrial and trade conditions in foreign countries in ... by American consular officers
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Daily consular and trade reports issued by the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, Department of Commerce
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United States -- Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce
Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, Dept. of Commerce
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Began with issue for Jan. 8, 1915?; ceased with issue for Dec. 31, 1920?
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Issue no.52f, 1919, contains misprint, November 41.
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Daily consular and trade reports (Washington, D.C. : 1910)
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Annual Series No. 54a July 25, 1917

1. :
R .

By Conul Lawrence P. Briggs, Saigon.
The year 1916 was a fair one in the commerce of French Indo-
China. Crops were good, especially the Saigon rice crop; but
exporters were handicapped by lack of tonnage, and a large amount.
'4 of produce was left over at the end of the year. The customs value
of both exports and imports was slightly more than in 1915, due
chiefly to a higher valuation, for it is doubtful if the quantities were
greater in 1916. This arbitary increase in customs values, however,
is a fairly accurate representation of the advance in price of both
import and export articles; but it is not likely that the inhabitants
received so much in money and in goods for their labor and their
products as in several previous years.
Economic Divisions.
In considering the commerce and industries of French Indo-China,
it is essential to note the three economic divisions. (1) The territory
tributary to Saigon is, except for the fisheries of the coast and the
interior lakes, almost purely agricultural-one of the great rice
regions of the world. Although this division contains less than one-
third of the total population, it carries on about 70 per cent of the
commerce of French Indo-China. Most of the trade of Cambodia is
carried on through Saigon by internal waterways, although a smill
foreign traffic, perhaps 1 per cent of the total of Indo-China, is by
ocean steamers which ascend the Mekong to Pnompenh. (2) The
region tributary to Haifong is devoted to agriculture, mining, and
Manufacturing. Rice is the principal export, but in 1916, for the first
time, the value of the mineral output was greater than that of agri-
cultural products. This division contains about half of the popula-
tion of French Indo-China and conducts between 25 and 30 per
cent of its foreign commerce. (3) Central Anam, of which Tourane
is the principal porf, is mainly agricultural, but unlike the rest of
French Indo-China it is not a great rice-growing region. Its prin-
cipal exports-cinnamon, sugar, and tea-are not shipped in quan-
tities from the other divisions. About 3 per cent of the foreign
commerce of French Indo-China is credited to this region.
Shipping Facilities-Harbor and Canal Improvements.
,Two French steamship companies-the Messageries Mnritimes and
the Chargeurs Reunis-maintain regular services to French Indo-
China; sailings were more infrequent than usual in 1916. All the
passenger steamers of the Messageries Maritimes now call at Tourane
and Haifong. The Messageries Fluvailes de la Cochinchine has


aband.(oied the freight and mail .'er'vice to Bangl,ik, and the contract
has I 'enc awarded to the MI's-ageries Fluviales du Tonkin. [See
report publihld in C, I 11l:I;: RT:i'u:l:Nrs for May 16, 1916.]
No important harbor improv~eicnts were undertaken during the
year. At Sa:linTt the extenriion of the quays of Khanh-hoi to the
C;n 1a of Derivation was continuil slowly, but the many improve-
Ilcl ts approved during the summer of 1916 have scarcely begun.
[See C '.~uMlI.i: R l:i(oi:rs for July 14, 1916.] At Qiiinhnll, Tourane,
and Haif, ill t1 Ir'e w\\as the usual amount of dredging under the
direction of the Dipartl'ent of Public Works.
During 1916 La Soci.t' des Drag'ages d'Extreme-Orient continued
the dredlgirnl of e:iinals in Cochin China, but (el-wllhere little was done
to improve the inlterior waterways. This company's cotntr:ct expires
January 1, 1918, and a new program has already been projected for
the period 1918-19i10. [See supplement to COMMEICE Ri:' :'I-r No.
5-1a, publibi.'d Oct. 16, 1916, and COMuIaEcE REPOu'rs for Apr. 27,
Construction Work-New Highways Completed.
Little railway co(ntructi'on work went on during 1916 on account
of the high prices of materials and the lack of European supervision;
half of the roadbed in the gap between Vinh and Donghia, in north-
ern Anam;, was completed. In road building more was. :ac-omplished,
although no important work was coinutneced duri i the year. Prog-
r,.-s was made on the S;ii on-Pnomlpenh road in (:l!ibalia, and it
is now po-:-il,, to go by automobile from Sa:igon to Banam.i on the
MAlko~ig River and by takiim a small boat for Pitnmpeinh to .-liorten
the trip by several hours. Highway ci nt-tr rction arnitnd the Can-
bodian lakes and in the vicinity of the temples of AnIgkir cuon(i ued.
but these wonderful rutin- are not yet accessible from Pnompoilnhl by
a nti'iibile. In Cochin China there are now good roads from
Bienhoa to Baria and Cap St. J:al'me-, both dir,'.lcly and thrfliirid the
rubber region via Xuan-Loc. In Anam ;tl ilttion has 1t.'li dliir.ted
to the iipr''\ I'irtiiit of the lM-iitl;irin route along the c',:a-1 and the
roads leading to the project'.,l sanitarium and health roI,.rt at Dalat
on the plateau of Lang!i j.I.
In Tonkin the l)''DrarIliieii of Public Works was engagedl in the
coitstrultil( i n and i'!i:iir of dikes in the delta district, the ililprove-
nmwnt of the Man:idarin rniite from Hanoi to tle Aii:mn lulr'er, and the
1, illding. of roads in the tin and tnill-teln niii,iinl district of Cao-
1l':,Ii neair the ( Chii.-', board i A _-,,id autonliilo, road wv:, com-
pleted from the railway station of l)o()tL.-1;;n.'1 above La:nl-,ii,. to
(Cao!l ,i (Route colonial No. 1). The oitlr l lii,:'l,\:y projected into
this r Li on-IHanoi to Cai.1n i via Thai- ILrmven and Bac-kan (Route
cloniale No. 2)-is now under cion,-truction.
Record Rice Ciops in Cochin China ind Cambodia.
It is difficult to make a gtm.i ail sltniuvnt; cinrcrnfing the rice crop
of French Inld-China t:,en;iuse there is scarcely a month in the year
when tlt' cereal is not harv.,t -tl in :-,nlie part of this district. For
export p l upi,'s'... h(oiver, inily two Eiullns need be considered-
Cochin C(lin; :and C;indlio. and Tonkin.
In Cochin China and Cambodiai the big rice crop is harvested from
Dc2u'_'ll-i to M:.,irlj. The 1915-16 'crop wa.-. nearly 20 per cent less


than that of 1914-15. The 1916-17 crop, just harvested, will probably
set a new record, being at least 10 per cent greater than the crop of
1914-15, which exceeded all previous crops. The total output of
Cochin China and Cambodia amounts to nearly 3,000,000 metric tons.
Tonkin produces two rice crops per year. The first and lighter
crop is harvested in May and June; the second in November and
December. The early 1916 crop was very light because .of the late-
ness of the crachin or spring rain. The crop harvested in Novem-
ber, 1916, is said to be somewhat greater than that of 1915, but less
than the abnormal crop of 1914.
The rice crop of Anam and Laos is scarcely more than sufficient for
home consumption.
Decline in Maize and Manioc Production.
Maize is the agricultural product that has suffered most from the
high freight rates consequent upon the European war. For the past
10 years or longer' maize has been second to rice in French Indo-
China; during the period 1906-1915 the annual crop of this district
averaged 100,000 tons. Conditions have been quite favorable to maize
culture, as it can be planted anywhere at any season except in regions
and periods of extreme dryness or moisture. Although the mother
country has furnished an excellent market, the great bulk and small
value of this article made it feel the first rise in freight rates; and
the production, which fell from about 120,000 tons in 1914 to 85,000
tons in 1915 and 60,000 tons in 1916, is not likely to increase while
freight rates remain so high.
The decline has been most serious in Tonkin, where practically all
the maize produced for export was raised until 1913, when Cochin
China took the lead; since then more than half of the shipments have
been from Saigon. More than 80 per cent of the 1916 crop was
grown in Cochin China and Cambodia. The dryness of the season
added to the other difficulties of the Tonkin cultivators.
The production of manioc, which amounted to about 150 tons in
1914, fell to about 60 tons in 1915 and has practically disappeared
except for local consumption; most of it came from Tonkin and
Yield of Cotton, Pepper, and Copra.
Cotton, pepper, and copra are the next important agricultural
products of Cochin China and Cambodia; some cotton is also pro-
duced in northern Anam. The war has seriously affected the culti-
vation of these products. Pepper and copra are marketed in France
and Cambodian cotton is shipped to Japan. Freight rates have
hindered exportation and prices have been low.
The Cambodian cotton crop picked in March, 1916, amounted to
about 4,000 metric tons, against 10,000 tons in 1915, and 12,000 tons
in 1914. The crop picked in March. 1917, is estimated as about equal
to that of 1916. To the amounts given above may be added each
year about 1,000 tons for the Thanh-hoa district of northern Anam
and about 200 tons for southern Anam and eastern Cochin China.
[See report on cotton production in French Indo-China published in
COMMERCE REPORTS for Apr. 16, 1917.]
The production of pepper has been diminished by the unusual
dryness of the past two seasons. The crop harvested in March, 1916,


amnlIlnted to less thlan 3,000 tons.- again, n, 2,G 600 tons for 1915 and
over 4,000 tons for 1!114. The 1917 crop is estimated at 4,000 tons.
A decree of February 17, 1916, reduced to 1,;( tIons from Clambodia
and 400 tIin from Cochin China the animnil ammlint of pepper to be
adiiiit t d into France at half duty during 19. 1911917, ad 1918. The
figui-e. for the previous three yta u were 2,000 tons for Callmbodia and
500 tons for Cochin China.
The production of copra is declining. Marseille, formerly the
world's market, for the sale of copra as well as an important center
of soap manlufaituire, was di-iirbed by the war and the output, of the
soap factwrics was ,liiiiii.ii~ed by the mobilization of their workmen.
Co*,'cnut tnls grow in ablunlance in all parts of the coast and delta
districts of Indo-China south of central Anamn, but the manufacture
of coprla lhas beel confined practically to the Provinces of My tho and
Bentre on the lower Mekong in Cochin China. The production for
the years 1914, 1915, and 1916 was respectively about 8,500, 7,500, and
4,500 tons; for 1917 it will probably not be larger than for 1916.
The cultivation of the coconut palm is not being extended and the
coconuts are being coin-umed by the natives or manufactured into
coconut oil.
Cinnamon, Sugar, and Tea Exports.
Cinnamon, sugar, and tea are the principal agricultural exports
of An:m; but, except a little Tonkin tea, these products are not ex-
ported from any other part of Indo-China. Most of the cinnamon,
which cones from the region oulihwest of Faifo, in central Anam, is
purchased by the Chinese merchants of Faifo and shipped from
Tourane to China. Some cinnamon from Thanh-hoa in northern
A1nain is exported each year from Haifong. Previously the forests
have produced most of this product, but plantation cinnamon is
growing in importance. The past year was a good one in the cinna-
mon trale, but the indications for 1917 are not promising.
Although sugar is produced in all parts of French Indo-China, it
is exported only from central Anam. The amount is increasing each
year, but better methods of cultivation and manufacture are needed.
The country is well adapted for the growing of cane and sugar should
be a leading article of export from every part of these pos.-:cssions.
The production for 1916 was considlrably greater than that of the
previous year and there is every indi, action that the 1917 cane crop
will be large. [See COMMERCE R:rEPOTS for Apr. 12, 1917.]
Much native tea comes from central Anam and Tonkin, but most
of that exported is prepared near Tourane. There are csex ral Euro-
pean plantations in this vicinity and one or two in Tonkin. Tea
culture is being gradually extended and more attention paid to
quality. A typhoon in September, 1915, damaged the Tuoirano plan-
tations and seriously affected the 1916 crop, which otherwise would
have been the larges-t on record. The production for the years 1914,
1915, and 1916 wa;s about 700, 1,100, and 1,060 tIon, respectively. As
in the ca'- of cinnamon, the increased value of exports during 1916
was due to a clhan'e of cii-om-i value. The 1917 production will
probably e\',c'.d that of 1916.
Extensive Cultivation of Coffee and Rubber.
Coffee and rubber, the chief plantation products of French Indo-
Chin:a, ~\ re previously confined to Tonkin and northern Anam; but


recently the rubber plantations of Cochin China have begun the
cultivation of coffee on a larger scale than the smaller coffee plan-
tations of the north and in a few years Cochin China \ill probably
surpass Tonkin in coffee production. The 1916 crop of Tonkin and
northern Anam suffered from dryness and was approximately the
same as that of 1915, which was about 530 tons. The Cochin China
crop amounted to about 25 tons in 1916 against 5 tons in 1915. Cen-
tral Anam produces about 10 tons annually.
The rubber plantations of Cochin China enjoyed a fairly good
season in 1916, but suffered somewhat from dryness during the early
part of the year. The quantity produced in 1916 (lid not reach the
estimated gain of 100 per cent over the previous year; but the im-
provement in quality and rise in price made the profits more than
twice as great as in 1915. So far weather conditions in 1917 have
been more favorable and the product is expected to be at least
double that of 1916. Wild rubber, formerly secured in considerable
abundance from the forests of Tonkin and Laos, is no longer a
leading export item. [See report on plantation and wild rubber in
French Indo-China published in COMMERCE REPORTS for June 6,
Vegetable Oils Important Products.
Most of the lacquer oil plantations in Tonkin are in the vicinity of
Phu-tho, between the Red and Clear Rivers above Vietri. The pro-
duction in 1913, 1914, and 1915 was, respectively, about 600, 800, and
1,600 tons. Although exact figures are not available, it. is known that
the yield decreased greatly during the past year. Most of this
product is exported to Japan.
The region around Langson near the Chinese border in north-
eastern Tonkin, with the adjacent Province of China, is said to be
the chief center of the world's production of star anise or badian,
which is sent to France and there reexported or used in the manu-
facture of absinthe, anisette, and certain pharmaceutical compounds.
It was thought that this industry would be seriously alnected by the
order prohibiting the manufacture and sale of absinthe, but other
uses were found for the oil.
Castor, peanut, and coconut oils are important products of this
district. The high price of petroleum and lubricating oil has stimu-
lated the manufacture of castor and peanut oil in Tonkin and Anam.
Coconut oil has many uses, from cooking to soap making and native
hairdressing. Bongson, in south-central Annm. has been the center
of its manufacture, but during the past year the low price of copra
caused many of the natives of Mytho, Bentre, and other part of
Cochin China to convert that product into oil.
Development of Stock Raising-New Abattoir.
Stock raising, as an adjunct of farming, merits more attention
than it has received in this district and there are signs of increased
interest. French Indo-China is favorably located to supply the three
great markets of the Orient-the Philippines, Hongkong, and Sing-
apore. The exportation of hogs from Saigon to Singapore during
the past five years averaged about 40,000 per year; cattle and car:bao
sent from Pnompenh to the Philippines in 1914- and 1915 numbered,
respectively, 4,154 and 5,200.


It is estimated that there are now in French Indo-China 3,'200,000
lcattleL and caril'l:li and 2,700,000 hogs, and that under present con-
ditions the present rate of export;ition i can be maintained or even
iinV're.-i-.d. IlHeretofore Ci.ttli riiiiig has been a native industry;
but the growing European rubber ;ii n coffee plantationl are demand-
illg large herds of better stock. Sonie Indian cattle have been intro-
dluedt into, Cochin Chlina, and tlhe Goveriiii'ent, recently established
a breeding station on the experimental farm in south central Anam
for the production of better food and milk animals. The carabao
is the ideal draft animal for wet soil, but its meat is tough. The
native cattle are small and yield little or no milk.
Another interesting development during 1916 was the establish-
Ilment at B tiilhuy and Vinh in northern Anam of a large slaughter-
house and refrigerating plant with regular steamer service to Hong-
kong and Ml:nila. This company plans to spend about $125,000 for
facilities that will give a capacity of 250 tons of meat. A French
shipowner of Hongkon, g has detailed for this service a small vessel,
the Cavanba, with cargo spacc for 125 tons of frozen meoat. This
will be Indo-China's first. attellipt to slaughter the food animals it
lias long been sending to Manila, Hongko g, and Singapore.
Hides, Silk, and Fish Affected by the War.
The trade in hides has probably su tfered more from the freight
rates cons.eliuei(t, upon the European war than that in any other prod-
uct of French Indo-China. The decline noted in last year's report was
CeVIm gre:at.r in 1916. Nearly all European exporters have stopped
dealing in hides, for which only the t unneries and a few Chinese are
in the market.
The silk trade has also been affected by the war and by the Tonkin
floods of 1915. The production of cocoons in Tonkin was consid-
erably less than usual, but in Anam it was -li2htly above noriIu;l.
Fish and fish products constitute, next to rice, the most inp)ortunt
product of Indo-Clhina. This in(dutry, entirely controlled by Chi-
In.', was handicapped during 1916 because of high freight rates
and lack of t(onnarge.
Rice Mills, Distilleries, and Breweries Active.
The rice mills \\were bui-y diiuig 1916. The 10 la rge mills at Chiolon,
i.tnar S; ig'"i,. wTr' all in operation and turned out 1,250,000 ttns of
riice, an in.r.v:i]- of 15 per cent over the output in 1915 and approxi-
mately the same as that in 1914. The three small mills at IlHifong
were less occupied, ber;iii-c of the siiller crop and the greater
acti% ity of the rice-alcohol di.tilleric-. Their output was only about
100,000 tons in 1916, again-t 260,000 tons in 1915. A constantly in-
.re:l.*l.-L' number of small mills in various parts of Cochin China
hull rice for local co,'iiw option.
At the !e.iinning of 1917 prosp- ,c.t- were gol for the rice-milling
ind,(-lIryi of Cholon. Abl,iot -100,000 or $,:iiIn.00 worth of paddy
was left o\er from last year, and of the crop then being harvested
about $ 1.400,000 will be available for export. The mills were active
and the price-. good. Tli' export nation of rice from Saigon during
the fir-t two months of 1917 was 20 per cent greater than for the
correspondingi prl,~iod of 1915. High freight rates and lack of ton-


nage were soon felt, and during March more than half of the Cholon
mills were closed and the remainder running mainly on Government
account. The price of cargo rice fell from 3.50 paisters per picul
of 60.7 kilos on January 1, 1917, to 2.75 piasters per picul on March
1, and shipments have practically ceased for lack of cargo space.
The four large plants of La Societe Francaise des Distilleries de
1'Indochine ran day and night during practically the entire year to
furnish alcohol for the ammunition factories of the mother country.
With the larger plants shipping their product to France, the smaller
distilleries were very busy supplying the local trade. The entire
product of the distilleries of Indo-China amounted to nearly 2,000,000
gallons of pure alcohol, valued at about $8,000,000, an increase of 100
per cent over the record figures of 1915.
The breweries of Cholon and Hanoi enjoyed a very good year.
European competition has practically ceased, and the local firms
divide the market of French Indo-China.
Textile Industries-Cotton Mills Busy.
The textile industries of French Indo-China include the manufac-
ture of cotton and silk thread and cloth and the production of mats
and matting. The three cotton-yarn mills of La Societe Cotonniere
du Tonkin were kept busy during the year to supply the local demand
and furnish woof for the cloth factory of the same company at
Namdinh, which has been running on Government contract. The
value of the 1916 product of these mills was considerably greater
than that of 1915, which in turn exceeded all previous years.
The silk industry was not so fortunate. The damage to mulberry
plants and cocoons by the floods of 1915 and the loss of the European
market for raw silk seriously affected the Tonkin silk-winding mills.
The silk-cloth factories of Namdinh and Quinhon were idle during
most of the year.
The manufacture of Tonkin mats has been declining for several
years. In this Protectorate as well as in Cochin China the greater
part of the reed product is exported as matting or as fibers.
Leather, Paper, and Other Manufactures.
The low price of hides has helped the Chinese tanneries of Hai-
fong and Cholon and most of their products exported from Haifong
and Saigon have been shipments of tanned or curried leather to
China. The plant of La Soci6te des Tanneries de l'Indochine at
Hanoi, now enlarged by the addition of a boot and shoe factory,
greatly increased its output in 1916.
The paper mill at Dap-cau supplied the local market. The pulp
mill at Vietri remained inactive.
The soap and vegetable oil factories at Haifong and Saigon had a
prosperous year on account of the removal of European competition
from the soap market, the low price of copra, and the increased
demand for vegetable oils.
The output of the albumen factories of Hue and Quinhon was some-
what less than that of 1915 owing to loss of markets, high freights,
and lack of tonnage.
The three match factories of Tonkin and northern Anam, which
have practically captured the local trade, had their usual good year


in 1916. [See C( ',I, i.:: IR.>;'rs for Aug. 17, 1916.] T1ie sawmills
and woodworking plal s \\ele slightly lhandica.pped by high freight
rates for export adl lack of coiil-truction work at home. The output
of the teak mill near Saigoiii un; as i whatht larger than that of 1915,
which lhad beei a record year. On the other hand, the large saw-
mill near Piomnpenh wa; nearly inactive, chilly becaui.-S of repairs
and the mobilii,:ati in of Eu ropea n o)lpratives.
[For a more extended survey of the industries of French Indo-
Clinia :-ce -Iupplement to C0.'.v3IMEUC.E Tr'olUTS, No. 54a, published Oct.
16, 1916.]
Increased Mineral Production.
The mineral production of 1916 was greater than that of any
previous year. Tonkin is the iilinng district of Frenchi Indo-
('llina, and in 1916 minerals aliiniedl first rank among exports from
HaifonLr. Coal is the principal ninlieral product of Indo-China and
the 1916 output was 800,000 tons, an increase of 200,000 tons over
1915. An unusually large amount was con lined in Tonkin and in
otlhr parts of the dependency. The production of zinc was from 10
to 15 per cent gr.:.ter than in 1915; antitimony, 25 to o30 per cent
greater; and tin and wolfram, somewhat less. A small mine at
Bong-Miu, in central Anam, prIodces annually from $50,000 to
$100,000 worth of gold and silver.
[On the mining industry of Indo-China see reports pul.lisled in
COM) iI: i: REPORTS on the zinc mines of Tonkin, Sept. 30. 1916; the
production of gold and silver in Anam, Sept. 28, 1916; tin and wol-
framl in Tonkin, Dec. 2 12, 1916; and the coal mlilln of Tonikin, Apr.
14, 1917.]
Foreign Commerce.
The foreign 'mininierce of French Indo-China was normal in 1916.
Although exact statistics are not yet available, it is probablle that
exports reii, ineal about the ':ivine in quantity, but i'nre;i-ed, about
$1,000.000 in customs valu,' making a record value of more than
$57,000,000. The customs value of imports was probably $'.,:500,000
greater than that of 1915. but (Pni-idlerably le--, than 1914. A con-
-,i native estimate of the imports of 1916 is : .-,600.000, against $31,-
2S4.000 for 1915, and $40,675,000 for 1914.
Sigi expo(rts increased nearly $3,000,000 over 1915, but were
somewhat T.-- than in 1913 and 1914. This gain is more than ac-
counted for by the adva:i-ii-l value of rice 'exports, although ship-
ments of cotton and roller in.rp .-,.1 gn'raty. Fish. hides, pepper,
col)ra, and other exports from S:iigon -liow a lim:,rkldl decre(;e:. from
the previoni- yea.r.
The increased value of exports frni), S ni'on was nearly offset by
a decre.-i of nearly ,-.500,000 in Haifong. Rice alone showed a
decline more than -ilfi,.ient to cover this amount; other products,
particularly IM i:i'. also fell. On thei contrary the export of min-
a r.1l- ccii.iieit, cotton yarn, and rice alcohol i.nrecac-ed coi-,niderably.
The valulei of exports from Touranle increased. about $600,000, and
was the greatest ov\r ir(,r.,1.1 at that port. The gain was almost
(.etirely in iiiimniinn and liiair, article- of Chinese export and con-
,1piiition, and wvas due mainly to a change e in ci-toms values. The
exp,'rt- from Pinmlnpinh \\er., about the same as those of 1915.


Rice Exports Maintain High Level-Maize and Manioc Decrease.
The value of rice and paddy shipped from all the ports of French
Indo-China during 1916 was $36,300,000, approximately the 1915
total, and about $700,000 less than in 1914. This value, however, is
far above the average and greater than that of any year previous
to 1914. Saigon will have about $55,000,000 worth of rice available
for export in 1917, and Tonkin at least $6,000,000, but transportation
difficulties are seriously interfering with shipments.
Maize exports from Indo-China fell in value from $2,300,000 in
1914 to $1,460,000 in 1915, and about $900,000 in 1916. The decrease
is chiefly from Haifong, where the decline was from about $1,350,000
in 1914 and nearly $600,000 in 1915 to less than $100,000 in 1916.
Tourane exports decreased from $232,600 in 1914 to $114,000 in 1915
and about $60,000 in 1916. From Saigon exports for the three years
amounted, respectively, to $716,500, $648,000, and about $757,000.
The exportation of manioc from Tourane to France, which
amounted to about $120,000 in 1914 and $24,000 in 1915, fell to about
$2,000 in 1916. High freight rates and long delays have caused a
temporary suspension of this trade.
Increase in Cotton, Cinnamon, and Sugar Shipments.
The most notable increase in the exportation of agricultural prod-
ucts was in that of cotton. The figures were $397,400 for 1914,
$313,000 for 1915, and about $1,100,000 for 1916. This does not in-
dicate a sudden development, for the 1916 crop was exceptionally
small. The crops of two or three previous years, stored because of
low prices, were shipped in 1916.
Cinnamon shipments increased from $388,000 in 1914 and $497,-
000 in 1915 to about $780,000 in 1916. The increase during the past
year is due mainly to an arbitrary change in customs value. Nearly
all this product comes from central Anam and goes to China. Ex-
port restrictions are causing a decline in this trade in 1917.
Sugar, exported from Tourane, was previously controlled by
the Chinese, and shipped to Hongkong and China. In 1916 about
$235,000 worth of Anam sugar was sent to France. The value of
sugar exports in 1914, 1915, and 1916 was, respectively, $153,400,
$250,000, and about $175,000.
Exports of Rubber, Tea, Coffee, and Pepper.
The exportation of rubber, tea, and coffee shows a gradual de-
velopment of the plantations of this district. Shipments of plinta-
tion rubber increased from $152,000 in 1914 to $310,000 in 1915 and
about $650,000 in 1916, practically all from Saigon..
The value of tea exports, in round numbers, was $165,500 in 1914,
$325,000 in 1915, and about $360,000 in 1916. The increase in cus-
toms value during the past year was arbitrary, the quantity showing
a. slight decrease.
Statistics of the exportation of coffee during 1916 are not yet
available; those of 1914 and 1915 were $94,000 and $140,000, re-
spectively. The 1916 figures will probably be a little greater than
those of 1915. Nearly all the coffee is exported from Haifong, but
during the past year some was shipped from Saigon.
Exports from Saigon of Cambodian pepper were $564,000 in 1914.
$749,000 in 1915, and about $560,000 in 1916.


General Decline in Forest Products.
There has been a _gr2linral decline in shipments of the products of
for.-l.s and native plantations, particularly lac gmns, and wild
rillbber, which w cr. exported by European houses. The causes are
the di-tlrbled European market and the diminisiihed operations of
European exporters in Indo-China.
Cinnamon, card:amolns,- and cunati, exported by the Cllinee, are
atffcitd by European conditions uoly indirectly fthrinough high freight
rai-,. delay.-. and lack of shipping facilities. The cinnamon trade
has flourished, althoialh its lunlll.siil prIjoperity during 1916 was more
apparent than real. The exports of wild and plantation cinnamon
are decliinini.
Cardamoms from the forests of Cambodia. Laos, and upper Ton-
kin are shipped to China, where they are i-ed for medicinal pur-
po:e--. The value of the export of this con ,modity was $101,:;(i in
1914 and $190,700 in 1915. Figiires are not available for 1916, but
they will not differ greatly from those of the previous year. Most
of the a(.nd1a1nanos are shipped fromii S;ig, n, and from 25 to 40 per
cent from Haifonf'.
Cunao, from Tonkin and Yunnan, is the coloring material used
for the dark-brown clothing worn by natives in the delta district of
Tonkin and is shipped by the Chinese to IHongkhon, whence it
reaches the silk mills of Canton. Exports were $1541,6(0 in 1914 and
$143,000 in 1915; figures for 1916 arie not available, but will not
vary much from previous years.
Colpra is partly a natural and partly a Cultivated product which
depends upon a European market. The value of the exports for
1914, 1915, and 1916 n-, respectively, $ 07,100, $155,000, and about
3:,50,000. Loss of mrkt. high freight rates, and lack of tuwinnage
;ac ount for this de .line.
The decreased exportation of wild rubber, gums, and lacs during
the few years is notable in the coMn c) l of French Indo-China.
The figures for wild rubber were $175,700 in 1912, $107,655 in 1913,
$11,764 in 1914, $.;711 in 1915, and practically nothing in 1916. The
production of ol,.;i:,in, or gum benjamin, declined from, 134 tons,
worth $10,000 in 1913, to 16 tons, valued at $;,000, in 1914; none
since. Lac and stick lac, the export of which amounted to over
$200,000 in 1908, fell from 807 tons, valued at $125,000, in 1913 to
2; ,. tons, valued at .-,1.000, in 1914 and 100 tons, valued at $15,000,
in 1915.
Lacqier oil is prodli:ed on native plantations in Tonkin, where the
lac tree is cultivated and tapped in much the same manner as planta-
tion rubber in Cochin Clin:i. During the past 10 years average
exports have been from 400 to 500 tons, valued at $;611,000 to $90,000;
in 1915 they were 1.518 tor.-' valued at $26-1,000; in 1916 a little
imore than :,00 tons. valued at $.',7,000.
Other forest products exported from Indo-China are building lum-
ber, principally te;ik, from Saigon, fri in $125,000 to $150,000 per
year; wooden article.-, of about the same value; ralta, i$100,000,
andl a small-r amount of bamboo, shipped fr(,om, Haifong and Tour-
ane; and medical slpi.<~-. $120,000.



Vegetable Oils Normal-Sesame Seeds Show Gain.
The export of badian, or aniseed oil, during the past decade has
generally ranged from 40 to 100 tons in amount and from $90,000 to
$215,000 in value. In 1913 there was an advance to 230 tons, valued
at nearly $500,000. The exports for 1914, 1915, and 1916 were, respec-
tively, 48, 74, and about 50 tons, valued at $113,800, $158,450, and
about $125,000.
Because of the increased local demand for castor and peanut oils
during the past two years exports have declined. In 1912, 1913, 1914,
and 1915 Haifong exported 394, 593, 900, and 499 tons of castor oil,
valued at $39,000, $59,000, $87,000, and $47,000. Shipments for
1916 will probably not exceed the 1915 figures. A small quantity of
castor beans is shipped from Tourane. The export of peanut oil,
mostly from Quinhon, ranges from $20,000 to $10,000; since 1914
it has been nearer the lower figure. From $15,000 to $30,000 worth
of peanuts is exported each year from Haifong, Quinhon, and Saigon.
Shipments of coconut oil have increased, owing to the dullness of
the copra market; they were 230 tons, $33,000 in 1914 and 400 tons,
$56,500 in 1915; there was probably an increase in 1916. The ports
of shipment are Quinhon and Saigon.
There has been a constant increase in the export of sesame seeds-
860 tons, $43,000, in 1912; 1,200 tons, $60,200, in 1913; 1,600 tons,
$79,500, in 1914; and 3,020 tons, $150,700, in 1915, with an estimated
increase for 1916. This product is shipped from Haifong and the
other ports of Indo-China.
Diminished Exports of Live Stock, Animal Products, and Fish.
The export of hides and leather fell from about $2,140,000 in 1915
to about $1,350,000 in 1916, the lowest point since 1908. The decrease
was mainly at Saigon, from $1,441,500 to $819,500; it was 30 per
cent at Haifong and less at Tourane.
High freight rates and lack of cargo space caused shipments of
hogs from Hongkong to Singapore to fall from $319,000 in 1915 to
$261,000 in 1916; but from Tourane they increased from $1,300 to
$42,000, and lard shipments from less than $600 to nearly $20,000.
The export of cattle and carabao from Pnompenh to the Philippines,
which was about $200,000 in 1915, probably declined slightly in
1916 from lack of tonnage.
The drop in fish exports, from nearly $3,500,000 to less than
$3,000,000, was due to war conditions. Fish and fish products are
shipped from Saigon and other ports. Tortoise-shell exports from
Saigon amounted to $248,750 in 1915 and approximated those figures
in 1916.
Cotton Yarn Increases-Silks and Reed Matting Decline.
Shipments of cotton yarn, or woof, increased from less than
$700,000 in 1915 to nearly $1,000,000 in 1916. Most of it goes to
Yunnan. Some is imported into Haifong and reexported, but a
great deal is produced in the Tonkin cotton mills.
Raw silk and silk goods exports fell from $378,250 in 1915 to about
$200,000 in 1916; in Haifong, from $225,000 to about $35,000. Ship-
ments from Tourane and Quinhon increased from $115.400 to
$136,550. The silk crepe and pongee output of the Quinhon mill
rose from $10,400 to $64,000.


TIhe exportation of Tonkin mats and reed matting, formerly from
:: 00,000 to $450,000, has dropped to about $100,000.
Lai .-er Volume of Mineral Products.
1 he year 1916 was favoraible for the mineral indl.-try of Tonkin.
In spite of an increased local conIsumlption, the expo, station of coal
tprol;I1.bly equaled the 1915 figure.--i-alout $1,850,000. Coal is now
third in value among the exlprt- of Indo-Chinia, having 1p;)I.-ed maize
in 1914 and hide- and leather in 1915.
The value of zinc exports advanced from $163,000 in 1914 and
$s:;I;.,500 in 1915 to about $1.000,000 in 1916. Zinc is increasing in
importance liamong tle exports of this district. In 1916 Ilmost of it
went to Japan. About 12,125 tons was sent to the United States.
C'eILjent exports, which amoliunte'l to $174,000 in 1914 and $614,000
in 1915, probably exce(M led $750,000 in 1916.
It is difficult to estimate the value of the tin and tlungsten ore
shipped from S:aigon. The custo-,l figures give the amount ex-
ported in 1914, 1915, and 1916 as 216, :G'7, and 331 tons, re-lpectively.
Even if these figures are exact, the export value can not be calculated
prel.'i-.'ly be'.'alu-c of the varying (quality of ore. The c('-tomnt value
of this ore is placed at 600 francs, a ton-very low for the l)pr'nt
price of the metal. Perhalps $175,000 would be a fair c.~imateo of
the market value in 1916.
The amount of antimony exported in 1916 was 785 tons, against
0(30 tons in 1915 and '-t3 tons in 1914. The customIi- value in 1916
was about $30,000.
Salt and -'--,ld and silver ore are exported from Tourlin. Tlhe
value of salt shipments fell from s:" .4()0 in 1915 to $59,3'3 in 1916.
The exportation of gold and silver ore amounts annually to between
.)0.000 ,and 1,, 00,000.
Imports of Textiles-Raw Cotton.
The only import ltati;tics for 1916 that have appeared are for
certain articles during the fir-t three-quarters of the year. These
figures indicate a marked -gaiii in the value of imported cotton piece
goods and cotton yarn or woof. Cotton goods lead the other imports
of Frniich Indo-China. In 1913, 1914, and 1915 their value wa,,
respectively, $7,(1,5,000, $5,350,000, and $"".142,800. The 1916 total
will appro:l'lh that of 1913. A change in the customs values of cot-
ton good( accounts for much of this gain, but the bulk of these im-
ports in 1916 was much greater than in 1915 and was probably at
least equi:al to that in 1914. The prewar -tucks have been -old out,
and bu-ine--, is bIeginining to adapt itself to new conlition-. M1Ist of
the cotton goods are of English origin. For the first time in many
years a -miall amount of American goods appeared in this market
in 1916.
Silk good, usually rank -co''nd to cotton goods among the imports
of this di-trict; during the past three years their value has not
varied much from $2,100,000 and approximated this amount in 1916.
Most of tlh,"i consist of piece goods of Cliniese origin.
The importation of cotton woof ainol(lnted to $!0)0,000 in 1913,
1.1:;(;.O00 in 1914, and $1,4,2.800 in 1915. In 1916 the value was
about that of 1915, but the quantity was aiiiller. It comes mainly
from Pondicherry, and some is reexported to Ylnnan.


The most surprising gain was in the imports of raw cotton, the
value of which fell from $895,000 in 1913 to $715,000 in 1914 and
$490,000 in 1915; the 1916 total was nearly $1,700,000. This increase
is due partly to the change in customs value, which amounted to
about 100 per cent, although the bulk was about equal to that of
1913. The cotton comes mainly from India and is used by the cotton
mills of Tonkin.
Zute Gunny Bags and Gold Leaf Reflect Prosperity-Opium Monopoly.
The importation of jute'gunny bags and gold leaf is a measure
of the native prosperity of Indo-China. In a general way the im-
portation of gunny bags varies witJ the exportation of rice; the
heavy exports of the past two years and the prospect of a good crop
in 1916-17 led to a large increase over 1915. Imports of gunny bags
in 1913, 1914, and 1915 were, respectively, $2,140,000, $3,200,000,
and $1,673,000; the 1916 figures approximate those of 1914. Most
of these gunny sacks, from Calcutta, enter at Saigon.
Gold leaf is imported from Hongkong and China and manufac-
tured into various articles of jewelry, which are the chief form of
native personal property, and the amount brought in is an indication
of local purchasing power during the year. The receipts for 1913,
1914, and 1915 were, respectively, $1,637,500, $1,360,000, and
S$1,205,000; in 1916, about $1,300,000.
The importation, preparation, and sale of opium is a Government
monopoly. The amount received varies widely; in favorable years
it is generally about $1,300,000. Figures for 1916 are not yet
Petroleum, Paper, Porcelain, and Glassware.
The-customs value of petroleum was raised about 150 per cent
during the past year and the value of the imports of this product,
which amounted to $1,205,000, $1,050,000. and $1,000,000 in 1913,
1914, and 1915, respectively, rose to about $1,800,000 in 1916. Actual
importations of this product were much smaller than for several
The paper trade exhibited a small increase in both value and
quantity. The value was about $1,700,000 in 1916, against $1,600,000
in 1915, $1,500,000 in 1914, and $1,709,000 in 1913. [For the kind
of paper imported, see report on trade in paper and paper goods in
French Indo-China in COMMERCE REPORTS for Aug. 11, 1916.]
Imported porcelains and pottery, valued at nearly $1,600,000 in
1913 and $1,200,000 in 1914 and 1915, probably amounted to less
than $1,000,000 in 1916, consisting mostly of Chinese and Japanese
decorated porcelains.
Glassware of all kinds, including bottles and incandescent lamps,
which fell to $226,000 in 1915, rose in 1916 to about $460,000,
approximately the figures of 1913 and 1914. The increase, however,
is more than accounted for by the arbitrary increase in the customs
values of these articles.
Iron and Steel Imports Again Normal-Hardware and Machinery.
The advanced value of imported iron and steel products during
1916,was due partly to an arbitrary change in customs values, but
mainly to adjustments to new conditions. Importations of these


products stopped :lriiiptly at tle beginning of the \\ar. There was
hesitancy and dlillili.lty in e.tablilhing new trade relations, and
unusual delays in .'-tti,,g orders filled. Nearly all the iron and steel
imports in 1915 cni' -t.Il of stocks on hand in the neiglhbolring ports
of Singapore and Iogklong, but 1915 orders began to arrive in
1916 and tliirr is now a steady trade, restricted to absolute needs
of (the market, under new conditions of prices and terms.
The hardware trade of Indo-China amounted to about $1,721,000
in 1913, $1.640,000 in 1914, $:r'.),',000 in 1915, and probabldy $1,400,000
in 1916. Similarly, the importation of machinery, which averaged
about $900,000 for 1913 and 1914, and fell to less than $100,000 in
1915, r,,%c to about $1,000,000 ,n 1916. Iron and steel imports were
$1,00 in 1913, 4$<':1,000 in 1914, $505,600 in 1915, and about
$1,000,000 in 1916. Mot.t of the hardw-are and the iron and steel is
of Am.erican origin, imported via Hongkong.
Reduced Importation of Wines, Tobacco, and Foodstuffs.
The ci'i.'liiiiiption of ine.s, liquors, tobacco, cigars, and cigarettes
has diminiiu'hed as a result of the reduced European colony and war
C.LnoIIiIIy. Difficulty in getting supplies from Europe and increased
activity in local breweries and tobacco factories have limited the
importation of these articles. The value of imported wines and
liquors was $1,400,000 in 1913, $1,030,000 in 1914, $830,000 in 1915,
and about r,;.,i),000 in 1916; imported tobacco of all kinds, $800,000
in 1913, $1,090,000 in 1914, $i;110,000 in 1915, and about $6i50,000 in
The native, however, will not forego his luxuries because of dis-
turlbcd conditions in Europe. His most confirmed habit is chewing
the "betel nut," cosisting of a slice of arica-palm nut, wrapped in
betel leaf, moistened with fine lime, and colored with carmine.
Althoiughl arica palms grow throughout southern Indo-China, the
deiuand is so great that the nuts are imported in large quantities
from Sin ga pore, the value amounting to $7,6,000 in 1913, $IU41,500
in 1914, s:,S,500 in 1915, and more than $1,000,000 in 1916.
As a rule the imports of foodstuffs have declined with the lessened
European population, but flour, which fell from $!i.'0,000 in 1913 to
s.,7;,..00 in 1914 and $456,000 in 1915, rose to probably $550,000 dur-
ing 1916. Imports of sugar, candy, and sirup, which amounted to
about $1.19,000 in 1913 and averaged about $900,000 in 1914 and
191&, decreased to not more than $700,000 in 1916. Leaving out of
consideration the wholly abnormal figure of $1,164,000 in 1913, tea
imports have gradually declined from $576,300 in 1914 to $470,000
in 1915 and $ h5.000 in 1916. Nearly all the imported floinr c'niee
from the United States, most of the sugar fi'rom Java, and the tea
from China.
Trade with United States.
Direct imports from the Vrnitt St;it'-, to French Indo-China gen-
erally coi'.i.-(t chiefly of petri ,lriiii. but a large quantity of Ameri'can
!good- d itC-i. s thl,'- possessions via HongJivong, Singapore, Manila,
and French ports. Among the .\A irican goods imported during
1916 were at least $1,000.000 worth of iron and steel prodIcts 00,-
000 worth of petroleum pr'.ducts, :l,00,000 worth of flour, $100,000


worth of baled newspapers, and $50,000 worth of automobiles and
accessories. Other American products sold in this district are sewing
machines, typewriters, agricultural implements, cooking utensils,
canned goods, and roofing materials.
Declared exports from Saigon to the United States in 1916 were
valued at $704,731. This total was made up chiefly of 12,125 metric
tons of zinc ore, $702,038, shipped from the port of Haifong; 7,825
tons of this, worth $453,068, was forwarded in 1915, but not invoiced
until 1916. The other items were 4,990 pounds of duck feathers,
$814, and 205 animals, $1,879. There were no shipments invoiced
for the United States in 1915.
The principal article exported to the Philippines during the past
two years was rice-1,796,442 piculs (1 picul=140 pounds), valued at
$3,198,228, in 1915, and 2,019,387 piculs, valued at $4,574,198, in 1916.
There were small shipments of antiseptic serum, cattle, champagne,
dry goods, rice bran, and other commodities.


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