1930.00.Note (non datée, sans émetteur ni destinataire) sur les charbons du Hongay
NB : La copie image de ce document, de mauvaise qualité, n'a pas été conservée.The increased demand for anthracite coal during the last few years, in consequence of the development of central heating, and high prices of this article, have permitted the entry into the European market of new descriptions, in competition with the well known best qualities of Welsh anthracite coal.
It started in 1925 with the Russian anthracites from the Donitz region, then, about 1930, in consequence of the low rates of freight ruling from the Far East, it became possible to consider the question of sending to Prance the colonial anthracites produced by the important coalfields of Indo-China. Whereas the Dong-Trieu region produces an anthracite very similar to Russian, the coal sold by the Société française des charbonnages du Tonkin, under the name of Hongay, has the same physical appearance and analysis characteristics as the best Welsh descriptions. This anthracite is produced partially by the usual mining process and partially by the working in the open of seams on the surface.
Favoured by the low cost of local labour, by rates of freight which are not exaggerated and by the coal quota in France, the Tonkin article is able to compete with Welsh anthracite, despite the fact that it has to be brought some 8/9000 miles by sea, or even 13/13000 miles in the case of vessels proceeding via the Cape of Good Hope, as they frequently do.
The quantities exported to France amount now to several hundred thousand tons a year, and some shipments are also made to the United States and Canada. This competition does not seem to affect much the South Wales anthracite industry which appears to be able to dispose easily of its production, as prices are well kept on a high level. On the other hand, it brings new trade to the shipping industry, large steamers of 7/8000 tons being steadily employed on this long distance traffic. The readers of this Journal might find the following details of loading terms and conditions, etc, in the Indo-Chinese ports of shipment to be of use and interest.