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UNITED STATES PARTICIPATION Detailed statistics of exports from the United States are not available. The trade is included in the following table, with shipments to the Leeward and Windward Islands:
EXPORTS OF PaintS, PIGMENTS, AND VARNISHES FROM THE UNITED STATES TO THE
BAHAMAS, LEEWARD, AND WINDWARD ISLANDS
The bulk of the paint imported, other than American, is supplied by two English manufacturers. American manufacturers have been handicapped in recent years by an unfavorable monetary exchange and a preferential tariff for British goods. However, high trans-Atlantic freights and the custom of buying small stocks, favor the United States as a source of supply and will probably always enable this country to secure a fair share of the paint business of the islands.
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
Trinidad is the most southerly of the British West Indies. It is about 16 miles from the coast of Venezuela, immediately north of the mouth of the Orinoco River. The area is approximately 1,862 square miles, about the size of the State of Delaware; population 378,000. About one-third of the inhabitants are East Indians and their descendants. The remaining two-thirds are mostly of mixed African and European blood, the oldest European element being French and Spanish. There are about 3,000 Chinese in Trinidad, mostly small shopkeepers. The principal town of Trinidad is Port of Spain, with a population of about 75,000.
Tobago is an island lying about 20 nautical miles northeast of Trinidad and 75 miles from Grenada. The area is about 115 square miles; population 23,000, the greatest part being of African descent. Tobago is under the government of Trinidad, and is treated as a ward of that island. The principal city is Scarborough, but the merchants in that city are dependent on the wholesalers in Port of Spain.
English is the language generally employed and the newspapers are printed in that language.
In proportion to its size and population, Trinidad is undoubtedly by far the richest and most prosperous of the British West Indies. It is important because of its reexport and transit trade with neighboring islands, and near-by Venezuelan coast towns, and also the valley of the Orinoco River, which is much easier to reach from Trinidad than La Guaira, the chief port of Venezuela.
MARKET FOR PAINTS, PIGMENTS AND VARNISHES
All of the paint consumed in Trinidad and Tobago is imported from abroad, except Manjak paint, which is manufactured for local use. Manjak is a bituminous material, which in outward form and general appearance resembles fine coal. It is jet black and is used in the manufacture of smokestack paints, varnishes, and for its in. sulating properties in the electrical field for coils, dynamos, and generators.
The following table shows the imports into the colony during the years specified:
IMPORTS OF PAINTS AND VARNISHES INTO TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, 1913 and 1921
Most of the paints sold in Trinidad are ground in oil in paste form. The trade in ready-mixed paints is mostly for household
Professional painters prefer to purchase white lead and linseed oil and mix as required.
There is a fairly large demand for furniture and coach varnish. The trade is divided among American, English, and Canadian manufacturers. Prior to the war a high-grade French varnish was imported but this has disappeared from the market in recent years.
METHOD OF DISTRIBUTION
The main distributors of paint in Trinidad are the hardware merchants many of whom import their supplies direct, although a few of the commission merchants at Port of Spain and San Fernando handle paints along with general lines of merchandise. Most firms prefer to make smaller purchases at frequent intervals rather than incur obligations for larger purchases. If a Spanish-speaking agent can be procured, it may be found desirable to have him canvass that part of Venezuela which can not be easily reached from Cara
This refers particularly to the eastern portion, including Ciudad Bolivar, the chief town of the Orinoco River and the center of an important trading area. Port of Spain is a transshipment port and many of the merchants from Venezuela visit there en route to or from their homes. An agency for Trinidad should properly be established in Port of Spain. From that city the agent may also canvass Grenada, St. Vincent, and St. Lucia, and even Barbados. The distance from Port of Spain to St. Lucia is 303 miles. San Fernando on the west coast is the distributing center for neighboring oil fields. Most of the business, however, is transacted with Port of Spain.
OTHER MARKET FACTORS
Terms. The usual terms are cash in New York or payment by sight draft before delivery of shipping documents, but 30 and 60 days credit is often allowed to trusted customers. Considerable import business is done through open accounts, remittances being sent by return mail after receipt of goods.
Advertising.–The best mediums for press advertising are the Trinidad Guardian and the Port of Spain Gazette. These are the leading papers of the colony.
Tariff.-Paints, colors, and putty are assessed 5s. per 100 pounds under the general tariff schedule and 2s. 6d. per 100 pounds under the British preferential tariff. Polishes and varnishes pay 2s. per gallon under the general tariff and 1s. under the British preferential. There is a surtax of 712 per cent of the above duties. (One pound sterling equals $4.8665 at par of exchange. One Trinidad dollar is equivalent to 4s. 2d., English money. Duties are collected in Trinidad currency, based upon rates of exchange which are declared daily by the local customhouse.)
Trade-mark registration. The cost of registering a trade-mark is about $2.40 and if desired, application should be made to the Registrar General, Government Administration Buildings, Trinidad.
UNITED STATES PARTICIPATION
An analysis of the United States paint trade with Trinidad and Tobago during the years 1913 to 1923 shows that the trade in recent years has averaged slightly over $20,000 annually, which, although higher than the 1913 exports ($11,371), does not represent a marked increase in the volume of material exported. Allowance must be made for the increased prices of paint materials in recent years as compared with 1913 prices. American exports consist chiefly of ready-mixed paints and varnishes.
EXPORTS OF PAINTS, PIGMENTS, AND VARNISHES FROM THE UNITED STATES TO
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
In contrast to the increased paint trade in other sections of the West Indies since 1913 the Trinidad customs returns indicate a decline in paint importations from 842,000 pound in 1913 to 825,000 pounds in 1923, with a decline in the receipts from the United States and increased participation by British and Canadian exporters.
The tariff handicap in favor of British and Canadian materials is not an important item on prepared oil paints, and American manufacturers should endeavor to retain their present share of the market's requirements. The sales of American varnishes have not suffered, although the tariff handicap is a more important item on varnish than on oil paints.
The Bermuda Islands lie off the coast of the United States, about 518 miles east of Cape Hatteras and 668 miles from New York. The group is not properly a part of the West Indies. The islands number about 360, of which 18 or 20 are inhabited, while only 5 are of any importance. These are Bermuda (chief island), Somerset, Ireland, St. George, and St. David. The total area is about 19 square miles and the population approximately 21,000, of which it is estimated that 90 per cent is of the working and laboring classes.
The growing of vegetables and operation of the hotels are the only industries. The language of the inhabitants is English and their tastes are either English or American. Hamilton is the capital and principal town of Bermuda and has a population of about 7,000.
MARKET FOR PAINTS, PIGMENTS, AND VARNISHES
Paints and varnishes are not manufactured in Bermuda; in fact, there are no factories of any kind on the islands. The import statistics available do not segregate the amount of paint, varnish, and oil imported but include all in one classification. The following table shows the value of the imports of this classification for the years specified:
IMPORTS OF PAINT AND OIL INTO BERMUDA ISLANDS, 1913, 1920, AND 1922
The greater portion of the oil paint used in Bermuda is for interior work. Almost every building is constructed of native coral block, which makes an efficient building material when protected from the weather by plaster or distemper. Wood is only used in the construction of outhouses, servants' quarters, and similar subsidiary buildings; for partitions, doors, shutters, interior trim, and to a comparatively limited extent for outer sheathing.
There is no surface water in Bermuda. Hillsides of an acre or more in extent are stripped to the coral rock and washed clean with distemper in order to serve as “catches” for rain water. For these catches a lime wash, which is burned and prepared locally, is often used. However, considerable amounts of imported gypsum and cold-water paints are used on the smaller catches, particularly upon the house roofs, which are made of coral block and constructed to drain the rain water into underground tanks. For this latter purpose calcimine is much used. For the walls of houses built of cora! rock, a putty coat dressing is placed upon the rock, after which the wall' is sealed with cement. For waterproofing purposes a Britishi compound is mixed in the cement to prevent any possible porosity. A tinted lime wash is applied over this cement. No wall paper is sold in Bermuda because of the great humidity which prohibits its use. Almost every house in Bermuda is remarkable for its meticulously clean appearance. The local authorities encourage and enforce this cleanliness, and considering the small population, a considerable demand exists for water paints.
There are one or two shops or repair yards with facilities for painting small boats, and most of the paint sold for outside work is used for this purpose, including a small amount of copper paints.