17G THE BRITISH EMPIRE: — THE STRAITS SETTLEMENTS
The tables of the values of the imports into, and exports from, the three Settlements during two years (inclusive of inter-colonial trade and treasure),
give the following results : —
Dollars 156,946,621 52,586,009 1,945,617
Dollars 179,217,164 50,650,792 2,064,007
Dollars 133,485,209 48,378,344 2,434,027
Dollars 154,942,803 48,403,837 2,415,702
The trade of the Native States (including inter-State trade) was as follows in 1897 :—
Dollars 10,075,969 14,442,428
Dollars 11,407,017 12,246,039
Dollars 2,291,637 2,806,667
Dollars 1,226,059 1,652,607
The following table shows the value of the most important imports and exports of the Straits Settlements in 1897, exclusive of inter-settlement trade : —
Cotton Piece Goods .
Tapioca and Sago
Among the leading imports are cotton goods, opium, rice, tea, coffee, tobacco, hardware, copper, copra, gambier, pepper, gum, rattans, sago, cigars, tin, tapioca ; many of these, however, being largely re-exported.
The values are determined by the market prices at the time, and declarations are made both as to quantity and value by importers and exporters. Imports are credited to the country of the Qrst port of shipment, and exports to the country where the final port of destination is, as far as can be ascertained ; thus, e.g., Switzerland is never inserted in the returns. The information is supplied by traders on declaration forms. There may be said to be three classes of trade— pas/»i;i(7, transit, actual ; passing trade being goods in vessels merely passing through Singapore for China, Ac; transit trade, goods changing bottom at Singapore, or landed and stored awaiting re-shipment. These two classes of trade are not included in the import and export statistics. Actual trade may be defined as goods brought for sale into Singapore and purchased there, either for consumption or for sale to other places whither they are said to be exported. The trade is a transit trade in the sense only that what is imported is exported without undergoing any process of manufacture. Exchange fluctuations affect the value of the statistical results. In times of low exchange the dollar value of goods having their origin in gold countries is enhanced, and the samp probaT>ly holds good, to a k-ss extent, in tlie case of j>roduce exported.