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EXPORTS OF PAINTS, PIGMENTS, AND VARNISHES FROM THE UNITED STATES TO
11, 115 25, 472
Carbon, bone and lamp black
$17, 533 7,408 All other dry colors.
40, 110 do..
129, 850 Red lead ..do..
46, 149 5, 777 89, 884 8,983 106,062 White lead..
do... 131,243 8,065 102, 820 11, 744 129, 651 Ready-mixed paints...-gallons. - 218, 454 248, 915 293, 487
14, 194 251, 110 607, 783
do... 61, 256 53, 932 44, 958 90, 198 60, 356 90, 985 83,692 Zinc oxide
119, 809 -pounds. 1,800 85
7,066 65, 420 Enamel paints..
7, 583 84, 434 9,934 do.
23, 541 102, 570 Flat interior paints. -- gallons..
30, 592 (?)
1, 486 3, 452 Other ready-mixed paints.do. Other paints.
296, 407 553, 774 633, 007 1, 147, 121 -pounds Mineral earth pigments, ocher,
1,180,457 189, 807 1,705,739 umber, sienna, metallic, whiting, etc. -pounds. (2)
1,325,067 Other chemical pigments..do..
23, 201 Not specially classified
337, 247 179, 270 25, 409 452, 058 Total..
1 See more specific classification.
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The proximity of the United States to Cuba, the rather large purchasing power of the people, and a tariff preferential granted American paints under the Cuban treaty of reciprocity all combine to make the market an ideal one for the American paint manufacturer.
The trade with Cuba in many respects resembles interstate commerce. To the intending exporter it is suggested that Spanish-speaking representatives be sent to the market to arrange with the local commission houses or with an agent for sales representation. The contact should then be backed by judicious advertising and prompt shipments. Even if the salesman does no business on his first visit, he might pave the way for future business or make contacts which will eventually result in business. The Cuban merchants get so many letters offering goods and so much trade literature, catalogues, etc., that they do not usually pay much attention to such offers unless they are dissatisfied with the firms they have been dealing with. On the other hand, American traveling salesmen who visit the island appear to get orders if the kind of goods they sell is in demand.
The merchants are not averse to branching out in a new line if they can see a profit in it, but it is hard to interest anyone by letter unless he particularly wants the goods.
PORTO RICO Porto Rico is the most easterly of the Greater Antilles, which comprise Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, and Porto Rico. It is about 70 nautical miles east of Haiti and 40 west of St. Thomas (Virgin Islands). The area is about 3,435 square miles, about two-thirds as large as Connecticut; population about 1,300,000. Some small islands lie off the coast. The inhabitants are chiefly descendants of the Spaniards, although there is a considerable negro element.
The principal cities are San Juan, population 71,000; Ponce, population of municipality 72,000; Mayaguez, population of municipality 41,612; Arecibo, population of municipality 45,500.
The chief products of the island are agricultural, including sugar, tobacco, coffee, and fruits.
Spanish is the language in general use, although English is taught in the public schools.
MARKET FOR PAINTS, PIGMENTS, AND VARNISHES There are no paint factories in Porto Rico, hence the entire demands of the island are supplied with imported materials. The following table shows the total amounts imported for the years specified : VALUE IMPORTS OF PAINTS, PIGMENTS, AND VARNISHES INTO Porto Rico DURING
1913 AND 1921-1923
TYPE OF PAINT REQUIRED
The Porto Rican paint trade resembles that of Cuba in many respects. Wood is used in the construction of houses to a considerable extent, but concrete is being used to an increasing degree in the construction of stores, warehouses, tenements, and office buildings, and almost exclusively in bridge building. The inflammability of lumber in a warm climate and the fact that it is subject to the ravages of insects has lessened its use as a building material, and many of the newer residences are being constructed of the cooler, safer, and noninflammable concrete. The use of roof tiles made of burned clay is also diminishing rapidly and corrugated iron is taking the place of the more picturesque home-made tiling.
A large proportion of the total population consists of agricultural laborers. The houses in which they live are usually of two rooms: the structures are of palm bark or thatch, with thatched roof, over a light frame of poles, and the furniture consists of a bench or two. a few cooking utensils, and some hammocks. The proportion of home and land owners is surprisingly small, considering the population; even the city laborers in Porto Rico rarely own their own homes. Statistics of a census taken some years ago show there were in Puerta de Tierra (the part of San Juan made up of wage-earning people) 10,936 inhabitants, living in 1,114 houses. In other towns conditions were only a little better.
METHODS OF DISTRIBUTION 1
Many of the retailers in Porto Rico import direct, and do not depend upon the local wholesalers. This applies even to retailers in smaller places, such as Arecibo, Mayaguez, etc.
San Juan is the most important city of Porto Rico and is the logical distribution center, as the chief commercial houses of the island are established at this point. There are many important wholesale firms here who carry large stocks. These houses make direct importations, as do also many of the retail establishments. Unlike Habana, Cuba, San Juan can be used as the headquarters from which the balance of the island may be canvassed. Occasionally distributers are appointed in Ponce. The general distributor usually attends to the entire island, making periodical trips to the various places where there are prospects of business.
The sugar mills are the largest buyers of industrial paints. A list containing the names of these mills can be obtained by properly qualified firms from the commercial intelligence division, Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, Washington, D. C., or any district or cooperative office. Refer to file LA-38007.
Other industries likely to use paints are the ship-repair works at San Juan, carriage factories at Ponce, the railroad, and the street railway companies.
The market for automobile specialty paints and varnishes can be judged by the number of vehicles in operation. The Governor's annual report for the fiscal year 1923 states that there were in opera
American firms contemplating the establishment of a branch office or an agency in Porto Rico should communicate with the division of commercial laws of the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, Washington, D. C., for information relative to the registration and taxation of foreign corporations doing business in the island.
tion at that time a total of 7,305 automobiles, trucks, and motor cycles.
OTHER MARKET FACTORS
Quality.-In general, Porto Rico is the market where price is considered a more important factor than quality. This applies to practically everything imported for resale to the average native.
Terms.-In purchases made from New York by wholesale merchants the terms usually granted are 2 per cent, 10 days, net 60, though in some cases the discount period is 30 days. The proximity of the New York market and the excellent shipping facilities afforded by the frequent sailings of several lines of steamers permit the importer to examine shipments before the discount period has elapsed.
In dealing with retailers throughout the island there is no standard of terms and discounts. The standing of the retailer with the importer controls these to a considerable extent.
Advertising.- A list of advertising media in Porto Rico containing the nanies of publications, circulation, class of readers, and other data is available to properly qualified American firms upon application to the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce or any district or cooperative office. Refer to specialties division AĎ–32.
Trade-marks.—The law of Porto Rico requires that trade-marks be registered in the office of the Secretary of Porto Rico. The fees for such registration and the issuance of the necessary certificates are nominal.
UNITED STATES PARTICIPATION During 1913 American manufacturers furnished 85 per cent of the paint imports, but for 1923, in which year the trade increased in value almost 300 per cent, imports from other countries constituted but 3 per cent of the total. Most of this small quantity consisted of zinc pigments.
The Department of Commerce does not publish statistics showing in detail the class of paint materials passing between the United States and the island Territory.
CONCLUSION Porto Rico ranks second in importance as a market for paints in the West Indies. It is a United States Territory, and the conditions are quite different from those prevailing in other Latin American countries. There is an absence of the restrictions, the embarrassing and costly practices that one sometimes encounters elsewhere. The monetary standard is United States currency and the consideration of exchange fluctuation is absent. There are no
and the island dependency. There are adequate banking facilities in Porto Rico, and reasonably rapid communication with the United States. An American who does business there knows that he will receive the same treatment as in his home State. The market for paints has developed considerably since 1913 and is capable of further expansion, Group educational advertising will materially help and react to the benefit of American manufacturers, which would
hardly be the case in countries where the trade is divided among many competing nations.
The Dominican Republic occupies the eastern and larger part of the island of Haiti. The area is about 18,045 square miles--approximately twice the size of the Republic of Haiti and more than five times that of Porto Rico. The population is estimated at 900,000, of which not more than 10 per cent live in towns of over 1,000. The people are a mixed race, chiefly of European and Indian blood. There has also been some mixing with the descendants of the negroes who were brought to the Republic in earlier days. The language of the Dominican Republic is Spanish.
The capital, Santo Domingo (population 32,000), is located in the southern portion of the island and is the most important place of business, followed by Santiago in the north.
The Dominican Republic had a favorable trade balance of $7,797,739 in 1923, compared with $913,878 in 1922 and an unfavorable balance of $3,971,279 in 1921, the crisis year that followed the peak years of exceptionally favorable trade balances. The United States furnished 77 per cent of the total imports of all merchandise during 1922. Imports rose considerably in 1923, but the United States maintained the exact percentage, notwithstanding increased shipping facilities with Europe and low-price quotations on some European goods, made possible by the exchange situation. The United States was the Republic's best customer in 1923, having taken 40 per cent of the exports, followed by Canada with 31.6 per cent, the latter chiefly raw sugar.
A large part of the increased amount of the exports was due to the value of the sugar exports. Cocoa, tobacco, and coffee are the other important products of the Republic.
MARKET FOR PAINTS. PIGMENTS, AND VARNISHES The Dominican market is dependent on imports of foreign paints and varnishes, because of the absence of a local producing industry.
An approximate idea of the consumption can be formed from the following statistics of imports, although these statistics include inks and textile dyes:
IMPORTS OF PAINTS, PIGMENTS, VARNISHES, INKS, COLORS, AND DYES INTO
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC IN 1913 AND 1921-1923
Paints and pigments....
54, 311 15, 522
5, 586 76, 407
5, 671 48,693 100, 688
1 Included with “paints and pigments."