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Table 64. By using this index the course of prices may be followed back to 1902. Prior to that year exports of anthracite and bituminous coal were not separately reported, and the total for the two is meaningless. The figures represent the declared value of the coal exported divided by the total number of tons. They are here reduced to a net-ton basis, in order to facilitate comparison with the spot prices at the mines. The value reported includes transportation charges to the seaport or the Canadian frontier. They should be therefore roughly comparable with average prices f. o. b. vessels at Hampton Roads, Philadelphia, and New York. The figures are affected by changes in the level of freight rates, but except for certain periods of general readjustment freight rates are constant from month to month.
It is necessary to show the average value of exports to Canada separately from that of the exports to other countries. The Canadian business reflects the changes of the Lake and eastern inland trade. Its most conspicuous feature is a regular seasonal rhythm. From a low point in June, July, and August the average value of exports to Canada has commonly risen to a high point in December, January, February, and March, though this seasonal change has been much less conspicuous since 1914 than formerly.
The figure for exports to other countries represents for all practical purposes the sea-borne trade of the north Atlantic ports. A very small percentage goes from other ports and across the Mexican frontier, but its effect upon the month to month variation in price is small. In common with spot prices f. o. b. mine of coal sold in tidewater markets, the export tídewater price exhibits no seasonal rhythm. It does indicate a period of high prices following the anthracite strike of 1902. The temporary drop in the months of August to November, 1902, is not believed to indicate the course of the market at that time. On account of the shortage created by the anthracite suspension, exports practically ceased, and the average for this period is based upon so small a tonnage that it means little. The peak in the tidewater record for March and April, 1912, registers the joint influence of a suspension in the Pennsylvania anthracite mines and a general strike of the British miners.
The average value of coal exported as thus computed includes both spot and contract sales, and the fluctuations in both the Canadian and tidewater export values have thus been less sudden and less violent than the fluctuations in the average spot price at the mines. Thus during the shortage of 1915-1917 the average spot price f. o. b. mine reached its peak in February, 1917, whereas the average value of both Canadian and offshore exports continued to rise until the final months of 1917. It should be remembered in considering the average value of monthly exports that the figures reported by the customs officials do not always exactly correspond with the calendar months. They represent the export declarations received and tabulated in a certain period of time, which in general corresponds to the calendar month, but occasionally the statistical month lags behind the calendar month. This fact explains why some of the corresponding peaks of the two sets of figures that are clearly associ
32 Tryon, F. G., and McKenney, W. F., Economic phases of coal storage; paper read before Fuels Section, Am. Soc. Mech. Engineers, Dec. 5, 1923,
ated with a common cause fail to coincide exactly-for example, the sharp peak early in 1912.
The fact that the export figures include both spot and contract coal suggests that they may give a more accurate indication of the trend in average value than appears in spot prices f. o. b. mines alone. If their statistical peculiarities are kept in mind, it is believed that the average values of export coal will throw considerable light on current changes in the coal market. For the years prior to 1906 they afford the most inclusive and reliable indicator of price fluctustions that can now be obtained.
TABLE 64.--Average value per net ton of bituminous coal exported to Canada and
to all other destinations, by months, 1902-1923 (Computed from records of Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce. Figures represent value at port,
including transportation, and are therefore affected by changes in freight rates as well as 1. o. b. mine prices. They include both spot and contract shipments)
TABLE 64.-Average value per net ton of bituminous coal exported to Canada and
to all other destinations, by months, 1902–1923—Continued
Canada Others Canada Others Canada Others Canada Others Canada Others
Complete statistics of the distribution of coal have not been collected since 1918, when the Geological Survey published a report “Coal in 1918, Part B, Distribution and consumption.” The broader features of distribution, such as the shipments to the Lakes and tidewater and the movement to New England, have been set forth at intervals in the Survey's weekly coal reports, but no attempt will be made to summarize them here.
There is, however, certain information about the distribution of coal collected as an incident to the reports on production. Since 1890 the Survey has ascertained the quantity shipped, the quantity made into coke at the mines, the local sales, and the quantity consumed by the collieries themselves. The proportions devoted to these four purposes change very slowly, but over the 34 years covered by the record, as shown in Table 65, there has been a notable decrease in the percentage used at the mines and a corresponding increase in the percentage shipped. Thus, in 1890, as shown in Table 65, the shipments constituted 78.5 per cent of the total production, and in 1923 they had risen to 89.6 per cent. The principal factor in this change has been the gradual displacement of the beehive by the byproduct coke ovens. Although the percentage of the entire output made into coke of all kinds has been singularly constant, the proportion made into beehive coke at the mines has fallen from 13.8 per cent in 1890 to 4.9 per cent in 1923. It reached its lowest point in
1921; in that year the demand for coke was curtailed by the business depression, and beehive coke, which had become an auxiliary source of supply subordinate to by-product coke, felt the depression to s peculiar degree.
The item of local sales includes coal furnished to the employees of the mining companies or to other domestic consumers in the neighborhood who can be served without shipment by rail. More important, it includes deliveries of railway fuel direct to locomotive tenders at the tipple. Some millions of tons of locomotive fuel is purchased in this way. Local sales also include the quantity consumed by affiliated industrial plants situated at the coal mines, an arrangement much favored in the manufacture of clay products. A recent development that promises to increase greatly is the location of power plants at the mines and the delivery of coal direct from the mine car to the boiler room or stock pile. In 1923 the local sales amounted to 3.9 per cent of the total output of the country,
The consumption of the mines themselves for power and heat is a small and relatively constant part of the total production. In 1890 1.4 per cent of the bituminous output was required to raise and prepare the coal. Increasing use of power in mining operations resulted in a gradual increase in the percentage consumed by the mines, which seems to have reached the maximum about 1919, when 2.4 per cent of the total tonnage raised went for mine fuel. Since then the quantity consumed by the mines has shown a remarkable decrease, partly because of more attention to fuel economy by the engineers in charge of mine power plants, but chiefly, no doubt, because of the tendency to purchase power from central electric stations, rather than to generate it in isolated plants at the mines. Several mining districts are now receiving practically their entire supply of power from a public-utility distributing system, and the economies of diverse load and large-scale generating plants indicate that this practice will become more and more general. It is well illustrated by Logan County, W. Va., where 13,604,000 tons of coal was produced in 1923, with an expenditure of but 21,325 tons for power and heat at the mines themselves, or less than 0.2 per cent of the production. Over the country as a whole the bituminous mines required 8,765,000 tons for power and heat in 1923, an average of 1.6 per cent of the production.
TABLE 65.--Disposition of total output of bitumnious coal, 1890–1923, in per cent
1890 1895 1900 1905. 1910. 1915 1916.
78.5 78. 7 81. 5 $0.9 82. 2 85. 8 84. 3
13. 8 13.6 13. O 13. 5 12. 5
1.4 .5 1.8 2. 2 2.3 2.2 2. 1
9.1 7.8 5. 9 5. 4 2.1 3.1 4.9
3.5 3. 2 3. 9 3.7 3.9 4.1 3.9
9. 2 10.4
2 3.7 3. 4 3.0 2.8 3. 2
24 21 22 1.9 1.6
BITUMINOUS COAL AND LIGNITE LOADED FOR SHIP
MENT BY RAILROADS AND WATERWAYS According to reports made to the Geological Survey by the coal operators, the quantity of bituminous coal and lignite loaded for shipment by railroads in 1923 amounted to 488,974,496 tons. The quantity loaded for shipment by waterways was 16,884,799 tons, making a total loaded at the mines for shipment of 505,859,295 tons. (See Table 66.)
The shipments by rail, which are summarized by railroads in the accompanying tables, include all coal loaded on cars at the mines. A small part of the coal shipped is carried only a short distance, perhaps only switched from the tipple to coke ovens near by or to some adjacent industrial plant, but the greater part is moved a considerable
a distance from the mines. As these statistics include coal used by railroads that serve the coal mines, not all the shipments furnished revenue to the railroads, as coal for “company use” is nonrevenue freight. The statistics of coal traffic published by the railroad companies usually show only revenue freight and include coal received from connecting lines as well as that originating at mines on the lines reporting. For that reason the figures given in the following table may differ from those compiled by the railroads.
The railroads listed are those reported by the operators, and only a few reports of loadings on subsidiary roads have been consolidated under the name of the parent road. The shipments over the Coal & Coke Railroad have been included under the Baltimore & Ohio; and those over the Vandalia; the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis; the Pennsylvania Co.; the Ohio River & Western; and the Wheeling Terminal have been included under the Pennsylvania System. The Chicago, Terre Haute & Southeastern, over which
. operators of Indiana reported shipping 5,199,000 tons in 1920, was leased in 1921 by the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway, and the two are shown combined for 1923 under the name of the latter road.
For a number of other important groupings of railroads no attempt has been made to consolidate the several members into a total for the system. Thus the shipments on the line of the Oregon-Washington Railroad & Navigation Co. and the Oregon Short Line are shown separately from those over the Union Pacific; likewise the Toledo & Ohio Central, Zanesville & Western, Kanawha & Michigan, and Kanawha & West Virginia are shown separately. The statistics for the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad are here shown exclusive of the Evansville, Indianapolis & Terre Haute Railroad.
The West Side Belt Railroad is not combined with the Pittsburgh & West Virginia Railroad. To the figures for the Southern Railway should be added those for the Alabama Great Southern, Northern Alabama, Cincinnati, New Orleans & Texas Pacific, and Harriman & Northeastern to approximate the total for the Southern System. These illustrations will indicate the compilations of individual entries in the table necessary to give the total tonnage for a particular railroad interest. The Geological Survey can give no guaranty that the relative proportions reported as loaded on the parent road and on its subsidiary are correct, for operators served by a subsidiary may