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Schrobenhausen was authorized to start production in June 1946.
In the dye field, continuation of the present production program is inade quate to supply current needs. Until adequate supplies of coal tar products are actually received from the British Zone, the U. S. Zone production of important dyes, pharmaceuticals and synthetic tanning agents will be severely handicapped.
The ammunition salvage program started in July. It is estimated that this program will recover about 55,000 tons of ammonium nitrate, equivalent to about 17,500 tons of nitrogen, for use as fertilizers. In addition, large amounts of scrap metals, chemicals and packing material will become available to the German economy. Fertilizers
Production of nitrogen in the form of calcium cyanamid was started in December 1945 at the Trostberg plant of the Sueddeutsche Kalkstickstoffwerke AG. The production started out at the rate of 223 tons of nitrogen in December and rose steadily until June when a total of 3,568 tons of nitrogen was produced. The calcium cynamid industry is currently operating at about 94 percent of capacity.
The balance of the nitrogen fertilizers produced in the U. S. Zone comes from two cources, namely, by-product ammonia in the form of ammonium sulphate, and calcium-ammonium nitrate fertilizer. The production of the latter is dependent on the shipment of anhydrous ammonia from the Oppau plant in the French Zone. After months of negotiations, anhydrous ammonia shipments to Hoechst were started in April 1946. The conversion of anhydrous ammonia to fertilizers at Hoechst did not start until May 1946. The current rate of production, dependent entirely upon French substantial or permanent improvement in this field can be expected until Germany is treated as an economic unit in accordance with the Potsdam Agreement and the Reparations Plan.
The First Year
In July 1945, chemical production throughout the U. S. Zone was virtually at a standstill. Neither coal, coke, raw materials nor transport was available for any substantial production. Lack of transport prevented the movement of potash from the stockpiles at the two mines in the Zone to satisfy the urgent needs of agriculture. With no coke, the Trostberg cyanamid (nitrogen fertilizer) plant was idle. Soap, essential for health, was being produced at the rate of one and one-half ounces per person per month. The only chemical field showing a reasonable rate of activity was biologicals, which were being produced at a rate of about 60 percent of that for 1938.
Gradually, as transport and communications were resumed, some small improvement took place. Raw materials from scattered inventories were reassembled. The electric power supply increased and some coal could be made available for essential industries. In October, the first soda ash, needed for the production of glass and soap, was turned out. During the winter, rubber plants, producing automotive and bicycle tires, rubber soles, belting, some surgical goods and rubber hose, were operating at about 15 percent of capacity on synthetic rubber received from the British Zone. However, production in the chemical field generally did not really begin to get under way until the first quarter of 1946, as more coal, coke, electric power, transportation and communications became available. With very few exceptions, the second quarter of 1946 showed further substantial improvement over the first quarter.
The month of June registered further progress. In the pharmaceutical field, output of anti-Scabetics showed improvement and biologicals continued to make a satisfactory showing. The principle raw material, corn steep liquor, is not Zone anhydrous ammonia, is averaging about 1,200 tons of nitrogen per month. The production of ammonium sulphate from by-product ammonia is negligible.
The production of superphosphates was not started until February 1946. The superphosphate plant capacity in the U. S. Zone originally totalled 24,000 tons of P,0, per year. One plant was completely bombed out and the remaining plants with an annual capacity of 7,000 tons of P20, are currently operating at about 20 percent of capacity.
The production of P,0, in the form of Thomas slag did not start until the month of May. Current production is running about 400 tons per month.
The potash mines in the U. S. Zone were not put into operation until March 1946. The delay in starting these mines was due entirely to inability to obtain coal for this operation. Production during the first six months totalled 28,000 tons of K,O; the current monthly rate is 11,000 tons K,0.
Basic inorganic Chemicals
Production of soda ash did not start until October 1945. Production up to 1 July totalled 24,000 tons; the current monthly production is about 11,000 tons, and this can be increased to 14,000 tons per month, provided coal is available.
The production of caustic soda, chlorine, hydrochloric acid and calcium carbide did not start until January 1946.
The production of sulphuric acid in January was 700 tons. Additional units have since been placed in production, and in June the monthly rate reached 2,600 tons. Before more units can be .placed in operation it will be necessary to increase the supply of iron pyrites. Steps are being taken to increase U. S. Zone production of this material from 1,500 tons to 5,000 tons per month. The balance of the iron pyrites must come from the Maggen mine in the British Zone, where production is being slowed by the shortage of labor.
Assuming a sufficiency of coal, tar, buna, carbon black, and skilled labor, third quarter chemicals output in the U. S. Zone should continue at least at the June rate.
Inlimited expansion was the verdict of the Allied Control Council in its determination of the permitted production of the ceramics, handicraft, leather and glass industries of Germany. These light industries had no war potential. They were essential to the economy of Germany and they would have to furnish a large portion of the exports needed to pay for Germany's imports of food and raw materials.
These industries are still operating at only a fraction of their capacity in the U. S. Zone, where production is limited by an economy of scarcity. It takes five to seven tons of coal to make a ton of finished chinaware, and coal is the most critical item in Germany today. In securing supplies of coal, there fore, export items must compete with the railroads, public utilities, steel mills and other essential industries.
Nor is lack of adequate coal the only drawback to full production in the ceramics industry. Bavaria has long been famous for its fine porcelain, and the Rosenthal plants are known all over the world. Bavaria, however, depended upon Czechoslovakia for the bulk of the raw materials needed to make fine porcelain. Eighty percent of its kaolin, the pure white clay used to form the paste of porcelain, came from the Czech province of Bohemia. Some kaolin was also obtained from Saxony, which is in the Soviet Zone. Considerable quantities of flint and feldspar were imported from Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Most of the postwar production has therefore been utility ware and some hotel china, the latter being used to meet US Army requirements. There have been practically no imports to replenish the rapidly dwindling stocks of raw materials because of the difficulties of interzonal and international trade. The current production of Bavarian china is only six percent of estimated capacity.
Pottery and Earthenware
The earthenware industry is one of the oldest in Germany, dating back to the 15th century. Stoneware and fine earthenware has been produced in Hesse, Wuerttemberg and Bavaria for several hundred years, and the manufacture of earthenware food containers has been continuous from earliest times.
Both “hard” and “soft” earthenware are manufactured in Germany today. Feldspar is used in making the hard type and chalk is the flux used for soft earthenware. The nineteen plants in the U. S. Zone are operating at approximately 36% of capacity. Since most of the potteries and earthenware