DEMAND FOR BETTER LUMBER TRADE STATISTICS.
GEORGE K. SMITH,
Large figures are needed to describe the lumber-manufacturing plants, the amount produced annually, and the amount of standing timber. Thirty-three thousand and thirty-five establishments were in operation in 1900, and produced 35,084,160,000 feet board measure in that year. Ten kinds of timber, counting all hardwoods as one, show a total of 1,240,000,000,000 feet available for lumbering.
These figures are interesting and important, but nowhere do we find the amount of lumber consumed annually and the amount on hand at the beginning of each year. Or, in other words, what proportion of the thirty-five billions was used during the calendar year and what per cent remained on hand. Attempts are made by the twelve lumber manufacturers' associations composing the "National Lumber Manufacturers' Association" to procure these figures, but of the thirty-five billions shown to be produced, less than one-half is accounted for by these twelve associations.
The need for and the importance of exact information as to the total amount of lumber in the hands of the manufacturers at the beginning of each year will eventually draw all lumber producers together, and, instead of depending almost entirely on a census report published once in five years, they will have figures of their own annually on which to base their calculations. Already steps have been taken to secure the names of the 33,000 manufacturers of lumber, and obtain annual reports from them, covering the three essential points, viz, the amount produced, the amount sent forward to the consumer, and the amount of stock on hand when annual inventories are taken.
* * * The steady growth of all lumber associations having for their object systematic gathering and compiling of figures is the best proof of the importance of statistics. When all manufacturers realize their bearing on the individual operation, and on the group of mills, and on the combined whole, some broad association now organized, or yet to be born, covering the entire industry, will be able to give what every producer is waiting forcorrect statistics relative to production, consumption, and visible supply, which are the three factors governing values.
Last Updated: 01-Apr-2008