When CSA cabinet met in early 61, sending 200000 bales for warehousing in UK to sell when and as needed was the alternative to the embargo, cabinet went with embargo instead, and blockade running. During the conflict blockade running far exceeded Uk imports from Egypt. UK had a stock of 1000000 bales from the bumper export of year before so cotton price was low at 10cents a pound UK, controlled India and India and owned the cotton industry there so that wont wash. So CSA government bought 400,000 bales from its citizens to sell in Europe as soon as possible, and later as and when through blockade running.T. A. Gardner wrote: ↑20 Feb 2011 01:36One thing the Confederacy should have done immediately is dump cotton on the world market to the maximum extent possible to gain cash for the war. Historically, they tried to withhold cotton under the belief that a shortage would bring European nations into the war, particularly Britain. Instead, Britain simply shifted their purchases to Egypt and India shutting the Confederates out of the market.
If the Confederates did dump cotton it would have gained them more immediate cash and arms from Europe before the US could effectively blockade their efforts. This would have given the Confederacy a much better initial position in terms of equipment than they originally had. It would also have driven cotton prices down resulting in a major problem later in the market when their supply dried up. This likely would have had more effect on Europe than their original choice would have. It certainly would have allowed Britain to horde cotton and possibly kept Egypt and India out of the market later for that reason.
Cabinet had acquired species and bullion ( c 1.25 million) when the states seceded, its was this that backed the CSA economy in 61, ( it payed for the cotton it bought from its citizens with primisary note that were payed at end of war, another advantage) thereafter domestic bonds and international bonds backed on cotton futures. Sending such a quantity of cotton for warehousing would have required vast amounts of bullion/species as well as considerable tonnage of merchant marine, CS had very little of that, pre war foreign flagged merchants carried the majority of international trade, and the majority of US flagged ships were Northern owned. So cabinet discarded that on practical grounds of it being to expensive if feasible and not feasible on logistical grounds as there were not enough ships in the southern states to effect it. Those that were were used to run cotton to Europe for war material. Heres what they achieved:
London Economist, in relation to the British trade for the first three months of this year:
"Our commerce with the South and with the North is now for the first time divided in the official tables. It appears that all our direct exports are to the North. The figures are:
Exports to Northern States.........£3,922,133
Exports to Southern States.............174,563
Showing a startling contrast in the amount we actually sell to the two belligerents. The contrast is nearly as remarkable in what we buy, only it is reversed!
Imports into Great Britain from Northern ports........£4,697,868
Imports into Great Britain from Southern ports.........6,136,186..."
So for the first three months the CSA tried to increase its income by sending as much cotton as possible ( c 100,000 bales), increasing the finances of the confederacy. Then, later, they could purchase the war material they needed, having placed the orders for manufacture while in Uk and backed them with the means to pay for them.