Material Balances

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Material Balances


a system of indexes in which the resources of a particular product and the need for it are juxtaposed. Material balances are used to determine the degree to which production is supplied with the corresponding types of materials and to establish correct proportions in the national economy. There are three kinds of material balances: national, territorial, and particular.

The national balances compare resources and needs for particular types of output for the Soviet economy as a whole. The development of such balances ensures coordination of needs and resources at a particular stage of national economic development and identifies new resources and internal reserves that can be brought into economic circulation. Additionally, strict economy in the use of material resources is promoted, partial disproportions in the development of sectors can be uncovered and eliminated, and the comprehensive development of the economies of the Union republics and economic regions and the accumulation of state reserves are fostered. National balances cover only those types of industrial and agricultural output that are essential to accomplishment of the most important tasks of the plan. For example, planned material balances are worked out for rolled ferrous metal products, the principal nonferrous metals, coal, petroleum products, the chief types of machinery and equipment, electrical energy, the most important chemicals, lumber and building materials, manufactures and foodstuffs, and agricultural raw materials. The material balances are the basis for the production program of the national economic plan, the plans for the distribution of industrial and agricultural output and raw materials among users, and the plans for commodity turnover.

National balances are developed by central planning bodies according to the categories shown in Table 1.

Territorial material balances are developed for Union republics, economic regions, krais, and oblasts, as well as for particular types of products and for production and consumption zones

Table 1. A national balance sheet
Stocks at beginning of periodCurrent production needs (principal users are identified)
Production (principal producers are identified—republics, ministries)Construction (principal users are identified)
ImportsMarket resources
Other receiptsExports
Remainders (balances at end of period)
Total resourcesTotal consumption

(balances of coal by coal basins, balances of electrical energy by energy systems).

The material balances of the Union republics include the main indexes shown in Table 2.

Table 2. A material balance sheet of the Union republics
Stocks at beginning of periodExports to other republics
Imports from other republicsCurren production needs
Other receiptsOther needs (by types)
Stocks at end of period
Total resourcesTotal consumption

The material balances of the Union republics are used to establish proportions in the development of particular industrial and agricultural sectors in the republic, taking into account the need to satisfy both national needs and the needs of the particular republic.

The particular material balances are drawn up for grades and sections of metal, for grades and brands of coal, and so on.

All the most important material balances are expressed in summary form in two variations of the intersectorial balance: that is, in cost and physical terms.

Balances are worked out using all the methods employed in national economic planning (economic analysis, technical-economic calculations, and balance and mathematical economic methods). The balance method is the most important. The basis of all balance designs is this equation: inventories at the beginning of the period plus receipts of resources are equal to inventories at the end plus expenditures during the period. The internal unity and interdependence of all elements of social production manifests itself in this relationship. The most important and most difficult task is to achieve an optimal structure of resources and their use to ensure a rise in the efficiency of social production under the actual conditions.

The resources received from production are determined according to the production program, whereas resources received from imports are determined on the basis of the export-import plan, and inventories held by suppliers at the beginning of the year are determined by calculation on the basis of current statistical data. The balance identifies all sources of supply, with the apportionment of the chief suppliers.

The calculation of the need for a particular type of output is based on the indexes of the corresponding program for development of the sector (region, association, enterprises, or nonproduction institutions), on progressive norms for input of materials per unit of output or unit of work, and on planned volume of commodity stocks and norms of equipment use. Incomplete (in-process) production is considered in addition to the output planned for production in determining the need for material resources.

The coordination during the planning period of output resources with the needs being satisfied implies a search for additional sources for growth in production; such growth may come through fuller use of production capacities, increases in labor productivity, mobilization of internal reserves, the technically and economically sound reduction in specific expenditures of material resources, or substitution of less scarce types of output for more scarce types. The methods of determining the need for the means of production differ at different levels of planning. For the lower levels the direct calculation of the need for production of output or work on the basis of specific, detailed norms is more important. At the level of statewide planning, calculations of need are based on consolidated planning norms.

From an economic point of view the most important balances in the material balance system are the balances of metals, equipment and machinery, fuel, electrical energy, agricultural raw materials for processing, and consumer goods.


Bor, M. Z. Osnovy planirovaniia narodnogo khoziaistva SSSR. Moscow, 1971.
Karpov. P. P. Raspredelenie sredstv proizvodstva v novykh usloviiakh. Moscow, 1972.
Novichkcv, B. F. Material’nye balansy. Moscow, 1972.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Based on the USACE IPA's analysis of the material balances within the DLA trial balance, the IPA decided to test four material areas.
This edition takes into account new developments in the assessment of complex systems like regional material balances, substance flows through large watersheds, and material flows and stocks in national and global economies, and the use of material flow analysis in industrial ecology, resource management, and waste management.
In 1995, Gu Tingyue proposed a model based on material balances and energy, adding dimensionless numbers to determine the physical and chemical behavior of substances (Tingyue, n.d.).
Additive manufacturing group CRP Technology ( says SLS material balances both.
This publication analyzes a Propane Dehydrogenation (PDH) process similar to UOP Oleflex [TM], providing key technical information such as process description, flow diagrams, heat and material balances, consumption figures and major equipment list.
In the initial working meetings, participants use input-output data collection sheets to discuss informal material balances for their facilities and describe material streams and by-products.
The mathematical model of the system is then derived from the material balances of the reactor:
Most firms understand the risks of their audit clients and properly identify significant transaction classes, material balances and significant fraud and other risks.
One can write the following material balances for each component:
Included are the most commonly encountered endgames; illustrative examinations of material balances found in roughly half of the endgames played; and sound advice, practical analysis, and endgame insights assisted by currently available computer software.
It is useful, however, initially to set out the more familiar material balances for the water and the solute, in spatial coordinates and time.

Full browser ?