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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:From Sail to Steam: The Impact of the Steamship Services on the British Palm Oil Trade with West Africa, 1850-1890
Author:Lynn, MartinISNI
Periodical:The Journal of African History
Geographic term:West Africa
Subjects:mercantile history
palm oil
maritime transport
Economics and Trade
History and Exploration
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/183066
Abstract:In the late 19th century the West African palm oil trade entered a period of difficulties, characterized mainly by a fall in prices from the early 1860s. Part of the reason for this lay in the introduction of regular steamship services between Britain and West Africa from 1852. As steam came to replace sail so the palm oil trade underwent major changes. These changes can be quantified fairly precisely. One effect of the introduction of steamers was the concentration of the British side of the oil trade once again on Liverpool, its original centre. Another effect was the increase in the number of West African ports involved in the trade. The most important impact was the increase in numbers of traders in oil trade from around 25 to some 150. The resulting increased competition in the trade led to amalgamations becoming increasingly common - a process that culminated in the formation of the African Association Ltd in 1889. It was also to provide the context for the pressure exerted by some traders for an increased colonial presence in the 1880s and 1890s. Notes, ref.