Coal Figures for the Great Powers

Discussions on the economic history of the nations taking part in WW2, from the recovery after the depression until the economy at war.
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Guaporense
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Coal Figures for the Great Powers

Post by Guaporense » 26 Jun 2014 03:22

Coal was the single largest raw material industry (by value it was significantly larger even than iron and steel industries and it's uses were many, it was the basic energy source, the source of power for locomotives, raw material for iron and steel production and used for producing electricity) coal was the most important energy source in the world during the time of WW2. I have previously cited many coal figures but I have noticed that even the figures cited in books tend to make erroneous comparisons because each country had slightly different methodologies in computing coal output (short tons vs metric tons vs long tons, output consumed at the mines and output used in coke production might be included into some datasets and excluded in others, which can final numbers vary by up to 30%). To make meaningful comparisons one should use data regarding exactly the same thing.

For example, according to the 1949 Statistical Abstract of the United States in 1940, the US produced 512,257,000 short tons of coal, including anthracite, bituminous and lignite, including coal consumed by the mines and coal consumed in the production of coke. Lignite production was a very small proportion of total US coal production (I recall it was around 1% so distortion by including it is very small) so all statistics I have include lignite into the data for coal. Soviet data includes lignite as well into total coal production but some data has this separate brown coal and black coal figures (where for black I understand anthracite and bituminous, brown for lignite).

Germany always produced huge quantities of lignite so they always included lignite separately from bituminous and anthracite. However I also noticed that data for Germany and occupied Europe (Grossraum = Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Belgium, France, Luxembourg and Netherlands), is data regarding coal delivered from the mines and not used in the production of coke, (from Olsson, Sven-Olof. German Coal and Swedish Fuel 1939-1945; Göteborg, 1975) in 1940 this number totaled 334,600,000 metric tons (Germany alone was 185,600,000 metric tons). In the case of 1940 US, out of the 512,257,000 short tons produced, about 10% was consumed by the mines, while 456,057,000 short tons were delivered, of which, 81,386,000 short tons were used in the production of coke, leaving 374,671,000 short tons, or 339,896,000 metric tons, as the comparable figure for Germany and Grossraum data. While production of coke in 1940 for the US was 51,775,000 metric tons, compared to 64,400,000 metric tons for the Grossraum. Note that efficiency in coal to coke conversion was a constant of 0.70. I also had data for Germany in the 1942-1943 fiscal year regarding consumption of coal in the mines: 24 million metric tons similar, about 1/10 of output, a similar proportion to the US in 1940.

For the Soviet Union the data I have (from Harrison, Mark., Accounting for War: Soviet Production, Employment and the Defense Burden, 1940-1945, 1996) separates black coal, brown coal and coke, therefore I assume the coal figures refer to coal delivered from mines and not used in coke production (it would be double counting to include coal used in coke production into the black coal figures), a rather strong assumption given that figures may vary by 30%! Anyway, this yields the following datasets all in millions of metric tons:

Grossraum (Germany+France+Benelux+Poland+Austria+Czechoslovakia), fiscal year (1st april to 31 of march)

----------------- Coal ------- Coke
1937/1938 --- 330.6 ------ 62.8
1938/1939 --- 332.8 ------ 65.2
1939/1940 --- 328.5 ------ 67.9
1940/1941 --- 334.6 ------ 64.4
1941/1942 --- 338.2 ------ 64.8
1942/1943 --- 353.6 ------ 66.7
1943/1944 --- 352.7 ------ 67.1

Note: lignite production, not included, appears to fluctuate from 250 to 270 million metric tons over the time frame (I have 2 data points: 250 in 1938 and 270 in 1943).

Germany (1937 borders)

----------------- Coal ------- Coke
1937/1938 --- 188.1 ------ 41.7
1938/1939 --- 187.5 ------ 44.4
1939/1940 --- 182.6 ------ 44.8
1940/1941 --- 185.6 ------ 46.3
1941/1942 --- 184.9 ------ 46.7
1942/1943 --- 190.8 ------ 47.3
1943/1944 --- 187.5 ------ 47.3

USA

---------- Coal ---------- Coke
1937---- 323.202 ------ 47.5
1938 --- 263.182 ------ 29.5
1939 --- 283.751 ------ 40.2
1940 --- 339.896 ------ 51.8
1941 --- 362.245 ------ 59.1
1942 --- 426.279 ------ 64.0
1943 --- 433.297 ------ 65.0

Note: In 1943, the railroads consumed 117 million metric tons of coal, 69 million tons went to electricity production helping in generating total output of 160 billion kwh (for Germany it was 26 million metric tons helping in generating about 70 billion kwh in 1942).

USSR

---------- Coal ---------- Coke
1940 --- 139.9 --------- 21.1
1941 --- 124.4 --------- 18.5
1942 --- 49.0 ----------- 6.9
1943 --- 54.8 ----------- 8.2
1944 --- 76.3 ---------- 11.5
1945 --- 99.4 ---------- 13.6

Notice that in 1940, if we compare the USSR with Germany in it's 1937 borders, the difference in production of industrial raw materials is rather small: coal, iron and steel figures for the USSR are slightly below German figures, around 2/3 to 4/5 of German figures. Soviet coal, steel and iron supply in 1940 also was about 35% of the US's figures, reflecting the USSR's economic status in 1940 as the third largest industrial power after the US and Germany and tied with the UK (in terms of heavy industry, in terms of output of consumption goods it was always far below western levels). Soviet coke was 50% of German figures as well.

However, Germany, by the time of Barbarossa, controlled the "Grossraum", which mean't it's figures were 2-3 times Soviet figures. By 1942, the USSR had lost much of it's European population (35% of all it's population) and industrial production figures for electricity, steel, iron, coal, lignite, coke, etc. were all down to 35% -60% of it's 1940 levels. By 1942, Germany's territory produced 7.2 times more coal and 9.7 times more coke (and about 10 times more lignite: 26.6 million metric tons for the USSR compared to 260 million tons for the Grossraum). Germany controlled most of the industrialized areas of Europe (big exception: UK) while the USSR controlled only Siberia and most parts of European Russia)

Also, it appears that the territories Germany annexed and occupied in the Grossraum gave proportional contributions to the war effort to their industrial size: in 1943, German military outlays were 112 billion RM (Harrison, The Economics of WW2), but occupation tax from occupied Europe were 24 billion RM, so Greater Germany had to pay only 88 billion RM, and Greater Germany included more territories than pre-war Germany, only 85% of it's population was contained in the 1937 borders and by 1943 there were 7 million foreign workers in Germany out of a labor force of 46 million, the labor force corresponding to it's pre-war borders was 33 million workers, assuming labor productivity was the same between foreign workers, workers from annexed territories and workers from pre-war borders, it means that 28% of Greater Germany's GNP had foreign source: out of the 88 billion RM, the German workers from Germany in it's 1937 borders paid about 68 billion RM, or 60% of the total military expenditures. The tax burden was also proportional: GNP in 1943 was 160 billion, 88 billion was 55% while France paid 55% of it's GNP in occupation taxes in 1943.

US coal production was smaller than the Grossraum before the war but increased much more: from 263.2 million metric tons in 1938 to 446.4 million metric tons in 1943, compared to a small increase from 332.8 million metric tons in 1938/39 to 352.7 million metric tons in 1943/44 fiscal years in the Grossraum. Reflecting the economic trends of both regions. Coke production fluctuated even more: US production increased from 29.5 million tons in 1938 to 65 million in 1943, given that in the US it was basically all used to produce steel (which went from 27 million in 1938 to 80 million in 1943), while in Germany much coke was also used by households (heating, in the US they had oil for heating).

I would need detailed data for the UK, the data I have appears to be only of coal output including the consumption of mines and the consumption in producing coke. Well, in 1943 it was 202 million metric tons, if 10% was consumed at the mines, the net output was 182 million metric tons and 21.2 million tons (according to the UK's Department of Energy and Climate Change) were used to produce 15.4 million tons of coke, so the corresponding figures for 1943 would be:

UK

----------Coal ------- Coke
1943 --- 161.8 ----- 15.4

Similar in magnitude to the Soviet figures for 1940 and 1941. Coal output was 45% of the German Grossraum and 36% of US's figures and coke was 1/4 of both German and US's figures. We could convert the coke produced in the Grossraum and the USSR (I repeat: using the assumption that the black coal data doesn't suffer from double counting) to get overall coal delivered from the mines data in 1943:

Grossraum: 448.6 million metric tons,
Germany (1937 borders): 258.4 million metric tons
USA: 526.2 million metric tons,
UK: 182 million metric tons,
USSR: 66.5 million metric tons

Adding lignite for Grossraum and the USSR (for it to be formally consistent with US data) and we get, though it's not an useful information, since lignite was of much lower quality than bituminous (energy per kg was half for lignite) and it's uses were much fewer:

Grossraum: 722.1 million metric tons,
USA: 526.2 million metric tons,
UK: 182 million metric tons,
USSR: 104.9 million metric tons

I don't have lignite data for Germany in it's 1937 borders for 1943.

Figures for "Greater Germany", which was basically: Grossraum - (France + Benelux) = Greater Germany, total coal is the total coal delivered from mines:

-------------- Coal ----- Coke ----- total Coal
1940/41 -- 257.2 ----- 52.7 ----- 332.8
1941/42 -- 255.3 ----- 53.6 ----- 331.9
1942/43 -- 269.3 ----- 55.2 ----- 348.2
1943/44 -- 271.3 ----- 56.2 ----- 351.6

So in 1943 (using the 43/44 fiscal year data for the Grossraum and Germany), the total volume of black coal delivered from the coal mines was:

Grossraum: 448.6 million metric tons
Greater Germany: 351.6 million metric tons
Germany (1937 borders): 258.4 million metric tons
USA: 526.2 million metric tons,
UK: 182 million metric tons
USSR: 66.5 million metric tons

Japan's figure appears to be 55 million tones but I am not sure if it includes coal used by the mines themselves or the coal used for production of coke.
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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Re: Coal Figures for the Great Powers

Post by GregSingh » 26 Jun 2014 14:28

Some French statistical data from 1939:

anthracite and bituminous, mines production (ex. coke), million metric tons

--------------------1936-----1937
US------------------443------448
UK------------------232------245
Germany-----------158------185
USSR---------------124------123
France---------------45-------44
Japan----------------42-------44
Poland---------------30-------36
Belgium--------------28-------30
British India---------21-------23
Czechoslovakia-----12-------17
South Africa---------15-------15
Holland---------------13-------14
Australia-------------12------12

lignite, mines production, million metric tons

-------------------1936----1937
Germany----------161-----184
Czechoslovakia----16------18
Hungary--------------7-------8

Basically these match early data for Germany and USSR from previous post.
For some reason US data differ a lot...
If we become increasingly humble about how little we know, we may be more eager to search.

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Re: Coal Figures for the Great Powers

Post by LWD » 26 Jun 2014 15:36

GregSingh wrote:...
For some reason US data differ a lot...
Possibly due to the fact that coal wasn't as important in the US as it was in Europe. If you look at this table:
http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/ann ... ?t=ptb1601
Only about half the US's energy supply came from coal after 1935. This chart also may help:
http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=10

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Re: Coal Figures for the Great Powers

Post by Gooner1 » 26 Jun 2014 16:06

GB coal production in thousand tons:

---------- Coal ---------- Coke
1939 --- 231,338 ------ 24,226
1940 --- 224,229 ------ 25,268
1941 --- 206,344 ------ 25,099
1942 --- 204,944 ------ 26,104
1943 --- 198,920 ------ 25,861
1944 --- 192,746 ------ 25,576
1945 --- 182,773 ------ 25,622

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Re: Coal Figures for the Great Powers

Post by Guaporense » 26 Jun 2014 18:15

Coal output in 1940:

Again, assuming Soviet data refers to coal produced minus consumption from mines and for the production of coke and again assuming that British coal production refers to all coal produced by mines including consumption from mines, according to the world economic survey British production was 227.9 million metric tons (slightly different from the data above, my data on coke production is slightly different as well). We have "net" coal production (coal delivered from mines) in 1940 as:

US -------------- 413.7
Grossraum* --- 426.6
UK -------------- 205.1
USSR ---------- 170.1

*(Germany+Poland(Silesia)+France+Benelux+Austria+Czechoslovakia)
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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Re: Coal Figures for the Great Powers

Post by Guaporense » 26 Jun 2014 18:22

GregSingh wrote:Basically these match early data for Germany and USSR from previous post.
For some reason US data differ a lot...
US (and probably UK) data does not exclude coal used for coke production and does not exclude coal consumed in the mines. That's the discrepancy that I already explained in my first post. Also your data is wrong in saying that US output is bituminous and anthracite, it also includes lignite.

In 1940 USA, in short tons (1 short ton = 0.907185 metric ton):

Coal production (including lignite): 512.2 million
Coal consumed in mines: 64.2 million
Coal delivered: 456.0 million
Coal used for production of coke: 81.4 million
Net coal: 374.6 million (339.9 million metric tons)

In 1942/43 Germany in metric tons:

Coal production (not including lignite): 282.4 million
Coal consumed in mines: 24 million
Coal delivered: 258.4 million
Coal consumed in coke production: 67.6 million
Net coal: 190.8 million metric tons
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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Re: Coal Figures for the Great Powers

Post by ljadw » 26 Jun 2014 18:36

I like to caution against the use of raw figures;the tendency exist to draw conclusions of these figures.

Exemple : British and Soviet coal production : while the UK production was greater than the Soviet production, one should not forget

a) that a big part of the UK production was exported

b) that the UK was more dependant on coal than the SU:

USSR energy mix in 1940 : 18.7 % for oil, 20 % for wood,the rest (mainly coal) : 61 %.
In 1945 : oil: 15 %,wood 50 % and the rest : 35 %

UK : 1948 : oil : 10 % (only :wink: ),coal : 79 %

Before the war, UK was importing 10 million ton of oil,while the SU produced 30 million ton of oil .

One should make allowance for these (and other facts) .

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Re: Coal Figures for the Great Powers

Post by Guaporense » 26 Jun 2014 19:12

LWD wrote: Possibly due to the fact that coal wasn't as important in the US as it was in Europe. If you look at this table:
http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/ann ... ?t=ptb1601
Only about half the US's energy supply came from coal after 1935. This chart also may help:
http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=10
Coal was the dominant source of energy for the US, Germany and the UK. However, for the UK coal (bituminous and anthracite) was responsible for 90% of energy consumption, in Germany it was about 60% and in the US it was 50-55% in the 1940-1944 period. In the US the second most important energy source was oil while natural gas and hydroelectric power was also important. Oil and coal combined, however, corresponded to about 90% of US energy consumption and for Germany, lignite was also a very important energy source, about 30% of German energy production consisted of lignite.

Rough estimate of energy consumption in millions of metric tons of coal equivalent considering production of coal, lignite and oil (the US exported about 20 million tons of coal during those years and the US also exported about 10% of it's oil production, so this is an overestimation of US energy consumption):

Grossraum:

1940/41 ------- 568.9
1941/42 ------- 575.0
1942/43 ------- 594.9
1943/44 ------- 596.5

USA:

1940 -------- 685.2
1941 -------- 735.7
1942 -------- 787.4
1943 -------- 844.2

US energy consumption from hydroelectric sources generated about 100 billion kwh of electricity in 1943 which would require about 40 million tons of coal to produce and consumption from natural gas was also important. Total US energy consumption in 1943 was about 1 billion metric tons of coal equivalent. However, one should note that countries with low population density such as the US and Canada tend to have higher levels of per capita energy consumption compared to countries with high population density such as the UK, France, Japan and Germany. In 2003, France and Germany consumed about 4 tons of oil equivalent per head of energy while the US consumed 7 tons.

Why? For example, German railroads consumed 31 million tons of coal in 1942, the US's railroads consumed 117 million metric tons in 1943, given the much larger distances that have to be crossed to transport cargoes. Same logic applies for cars: in the US you have to driver more mileage. Lower population density also decreases real state prices which creates incentives for the increase the size of houses and shops, increasing the consumption of energy for these buildings. New York is the most ecological city in the US because it is the city with highest population density hence creating incentives for lower levels of per capita energy consumption.

Soviet energy consumption can also be estimated from the same sources (oil, black coal, lignite) in millions of metric tons of bituminous coal equivalent:

1940 ------- 228.6
1941 ------- 212.6
1942 ------- 104.4
1943 ------- 112.4

Notice how delicate the Soviet situation was in 1942-1943: it's energy supply was half of it's 1940 level and 1/6 of the energy supply available to Germany.

Using: 42 megajoules for kg of oil, 29 megajoules for kg of bituminous (it's about the same for anthracite) and 15 megajoules for kg of lignite. British energy consumption was around 200 million metric tons of bituminous coal equivalent for the 1940-44 period, 180 million tons of black coal and 20 million tons of bituminous coal energy equivalents came from oil.

Japanese energy consumption was around 60 million metric tons of bituminous coal equivalent for the 1940-1944 period or about 1/10 of the energy consumption of Germany and it's occupied territories. The Japanese economy was very weak indeed, the smallest among the seven great powers in 1938 by market exchange rates though if one looks at the long term trajectory it was the fastest growing among the seven great powers from 1913 to 1938.
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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Re: Coal Figures for the Great Powers

Post by Guaporense » 26 Jun 2014 19:21

ljadw wrote:I like to caution against the use of raw figures;the tendency exist to draw conclusions of these figures.

Exemple : British and Soviet coal production : while the UK production was greater than the Soviet production, one should not forget

a) that a big part of the UK production was exported

b) that the UK was more dependant on coal than the SU:

USSR energy mix in 1940 : 18.7 % for oil, 20 % for wood,the rest (mainly coal) : 61 %.
In 1945 : oil: 15 %,wood 50 % and the rest : 35 %

UK : 1948 : oil : 10 % (only :wink: ),coal : 79 %

Before the war, UK was importing 10 million ton of oil,while the SU produced 30 million ton of oil .

One should make allowance for these (and other facts) .
Still in 1942, UK energy consumption was about twice as the USSR's and in 1940 they were about the same. Also, the USSR was a less energy efficient economy than the capitalistic countries, in 1985 it surpassed the USA in energy consumption but real living standards were 25% of the US in terms of per capita consumption (about the same as in Brazil and Mexico, whose per capita levels of energy consumption were 15% of US levels in 1985). But I guess that in terms of munitions production potential in 1940 the UK and the USSR were comparable. By 1942, the UK was clearly stronger than the USSR in terms of munitions production potential. The USSR produced more tanks and slightly more aircraft at the cost of lower quality and also because they allocated a larger proportion of their resources to these categories.
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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Re: Coal Figures for the Great Powers

Post by ljadw » 26 Jun 2014 19:46

Guaporense wrote:[
the US exported about 20 million tons of coal during those years .

And Germany exported to the east between june 1941 and november 1943 17 million tons of coal ,thus?

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Re: Coal Figures for the Great Powers

Post by ljadw » 26 Jun 2014 19:53

Guaporense wrote:
ljadw wrote: But I guess that in terms of munitions production potential in 1940 the UK and the USSR were comparable.



By 1942, the UK was clearly stronger than the USSR in terms of munitions production potential..

1)The first sentence is a wrong guess ,because it is mixing apples,oranges and pears=ammunition for army,air force and navy


2) The first and second sentences are meaningless :potential is not the same as production

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Re: Coal Figures for the Great Powers

Post by Guaporense » 26 Jun 2014 19:56

The "Grossraum" block overall exported about 17 million tons of coal to Sweden, Switzerland, Italy and to the east per year from 1940-1944 as well. So consumption of coal was slightly lower than production. Though it also imported oil which I did not count into their total energy consumption estimate.

Overall, though it appears to make sense:

Energy consumption in 1940 million mt of coal equivalent:

USA: 685.2
Grossraum: 568.9
UK; ca. 200
Japan: ca. 60

GNP in current dollars in 1939:

USA: 90.5 billion
Grossraum: ca. 80 billion
UK: ca. 30 billion
Japan: 7 billion

Where for Grossraum I had data for France and Germany (Austria and Czechoslovakia were already incorporated in German GNP in 1939), for Belgium and Netherlands I assumed same per capita income as Germany, for Poland assumed per capita income of Japan.
Last edited by Guaporense on 26 Jun 2014 20:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Coal Figures for the Great Powers

Post by Guaporense » 26 Jun 2014 19:59

ljadw wrote:
Guaporense wrote:
ljadw wrote: But I guess that in terms of munitions production potential in 1940 the UK and the USSR were comparable.



By 1942, the UK was clearly stronger than the USSR in terms of munitions production potential..

1)The first sentence is a wrong guess ,because it is mixing apples,oranges and pears=ammunition for army,air force and navy


2) The first and second sentences are meaningless :potential is not the same as production
In both countries all potential was clearly used by 1942-1943. UK real munitions production was greater considering the higher quality of UK equipment. USSR compensated for it's low economic resources with manpower. That's why they lost 5-6 men to each German loss.
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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Re: Coal Figures for the Great Powers

Post by ljadw » 26 Jun 2014 20:20

I do not see the use of these raw figures,unless the meaning is to prove that country A was stronger than country B .But that's a method that's applying in Wonderland only .

These figures are ignoring several factors,as : was country B producing its maximum,or could it increase its production,but,maybe it didn't because there was no necessity for it .

exemple :

energy consumption in coal equivalent :US 685 million/GRW 568 million: saying that both were nearly equal (100/83) is not correct,unless one can prove that US could not increase its total of 685 million .

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Re: Coal Figures for the Great Powers

Post by ljadw » 26 Jun 2014 20:27

Guaporense wrote:
Overall, though it appears to make sense:

Energy consumption in 1940 million mt of coal equivalent:

USA: 685.2
Grossraum: 568.9
UK; ca. 200
Japan: ca. 60

GNP in current dollars in 1939:

USA: 90.5 billion
Grossraum: ca. 80 billion
UK: ca. 30 billion
Japan: 7 billion

.
It appears not to make any sense:US /UK in coal equivalent : 100/29,in GNP in current dollars of 1939 : 100 /33.

Besides: why dollars of 1939? and not dollars of 1938 or 1940?

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