Industries. – Until the end of the century. In the nineteenth century, Romania only knew the small workshops in which the artisans manufactured on the spot everything that was necessary for the peasant. The development of the cities having created new needs, it was necessary to resort to importation, but this proved to be so onerous that the government thought of giving life to large modern industry, protected by special laws. At the beginning of the century XX ancient Romania had a prosperous oil industry and a processing industry of soil products. Transylvania possessed a steel industry which worked hand in hand with that of Budapest. The rise of large modern industry had not made the small businesses disappear, which still exist today in the Carpathians,
After the troubled aimi that followed the ruins of the world war, the industrial movement has resumed and is amplified. This expanding industry aims only to satisfy the needs of the country, without succeeding: there is therefore no possibility of exporting the manufactured products.
Mining riches. – They are located in and around the Carpathians. The hard coal is extracted from the metalliferous mountains of Banat by the Metallurgical Society of Reşiţa. Production (400,000 tons per year) is completely insufficient, but, at least in part, it is provided with that of lignite (1.6 million tons in 1934). This fuel, extracted in the Petroşeni basin and in Moldavia (on the Trotus), was also found in the sub-Carpathian hills of Transylvania and Bessarabia.
The natural gases from the hills of Transylvania are used to feed the factories of Turda, Mediaş, Târnava and the oil yards. In 1933 the total production was 1589 million cubic meters. (613 million in 1928).
The importance of hydroelectric energy resources (Carpazî) ensures a bright future for Romania and will allow it to further decrease coal imports. Exploitation has only just begun in our day.
The production of piezius metals is no longer very important but the origin of their extraction dates back very far in the past. In 1933, 3500 kg were extracted. of gold, and about 5000 kg. of silver.
Transylvanian gold was already exploited by the Romans. Later the Germans extracted it in turn from Banat and from the massif of Poiana Rusca and even in Maramureş. Finally, the Gypsies also washed the sands of Buzău. Today almost all of these centers are abandoned.
Iron ore accounted for 12,112 tons. in 1933. It is found in Banat and in the Poiana Rusca massif. It is not enough for the consumption of the Reşita steel mills.
Among the mineral riches it is also necessary to remember the salt extracted on the outer edges of the Carpazî, in the corrugated soils of the Tertiary. Its exploitation, monopolized by the state, supplies from 250 to 300 thousand tons, partly exported.
Oil with a production of 8,467,000 tons. in 1934 it places Romania in fourth place in the world, first in Europe (excluding Russia). The centers of extraction are located in the sub-Carpathian hills of Muntenia and southern Moldova. The Prahova district is in the lead, with 70-90% of the total production. The new installations in the Dâmboviţa district are currently the most profitable after those of Prahova.
The organization was already very much perfected in 1914 (684 drillings, 13,700 workers). It included refineries, a whole system of tank cars, oil pipelines. The capital was especially foreign: Germans (27%), Dutch and above all British. After 1918, the Prahova factories, ruined during the war, quickly reconstituted and even perfected. They employ 20,000 workers, their refineries can process 5 million tons. of crude oil. The exploitation of the derivatives from 2,340,000 tons., 3 / 4 of which originate from refineries Prahova. Transportation is ensured by a network of oil pipelines:Ploeşti-Costanza, with branch to Câmpina and Buzău (120 wagons per day). Two pipelines lead to Giurgiu, one for illuminating oil, the other for crude oil: another goes from Câmpina to Bucharest. They belong to foreign capital, English and French, which keep this powerful organization alive, concentrated in the hands of 4 or 5 large companies.
The export decreased compared to 1914 due to the inadequacy of oil pipelines, and taxes. On the other hand, domestic consumption has increased.
Soil product processing industries. – They are the most important. They include: mills, sawmills, tanneries, sugar refineries, breweries and represent a value of 15 billion lei (metallurgy represents only 12 and the textile industry 5).
The mills have long been organized in Bucharest, in the ports of the Danube and in the cities of the Pannonian plain (Arad, Timişoara). They represent the most important industries for the value of the products: 5,500 million lei, while the sawmills (4,600) exceed them for the motive power (64,896 HP) and the personnel (52,000 workers) employed. The tannery is an old industry of the Romanian countries. In 1925 Romania worked leather for a value of 2 billion lei, of which 600 million for footwear. Despite notable progress, this industry is not enough for the country’s needs. Much less important are the sugar factories: they too are not sufficient to meet the needs of the country, while the breweries respond sufficiently to the demands of the cities.
Metallurgical industries. – They already existed in ancient Romania, but they had to import most of the necessary metals and machines. In Transylvania, thanks to the resources of the subsoil, there was also a large metallurgical industry (Società di Resiţa; Alti kilns of Hunedoara).
The cost prices being very high, current Romania, with the exception of a steel production of 120,000 tons, shows a tendency to move towards processing metallurgy: probing tools in Ploeşti, agricultural machinery in Sibiu, BraŞov, Timişoara, wagon repair shops in Arad. Taken together, this transformation metallurgy represents a value of 3 billion lei.
Textile industries. – They were already developed in ancient Romania. Today the wool industry has the primacy, employing 8700 workers, representing 2190 million lei, and providing for 57% of the country’s needs. The linen industry supplies 31% of what Romania needs. Knitwear and hat factories provide 30 to 50% of the needs of the interior. A great future can be predicted for the textile industries, especially in Transylvania.
Chemical industries. – They are also destined to occupy an important place in the Romanian economy. Cyanamide is manufactured in Mediaş. The distillation of wood, the preparation of sulfuric acid and the exploitation of salt, open up other perspectives. Finally, Romania is already self-sufficient with regard to cement.
C RADE and roads. – The characteristics of Romanian trade are determined both by the geographical situation of the country and by political events. Despite its sympathy for Latin countries (France, Italy), Romania before the world war was Hungary. At the beginning of the century XX Germany dumped its metallurgical and textile products here, thus supplying 20 to 40% of imports. Austria-Hungary competed with 25%. England and France followed closely, participating mainly in exports. The formation of Greater Romania was not enough to radically change this state of affairs; nor does the geographical situation and the poor state of the communication routes allow Romania to become economically independent for the time being.