Golam Mostafa Jibon: Development activities especially works of housing sector are being hampered tremendously due to constant rising of brick prices caused by price hike of coal in phases, insiders said.
Meanwhile, the prices of various qualities of bricks have been increased four phases on the pretext of coal shortage and its price hike. As a result, developer agencies especially real estate companies are facing serious trouble. Many can’t start construction works, while many can’t deliver their infrastructure to the clients in time.
Housing sector sources claimed that, the price of bricks is constantly rising since the beginning of corona pandemic. The brick, which was sold between Tk 8 and Tk 9 per unit (one piece) a year ago, is now being sold between Tk 12 and Tk 15 on the basis of quality.Consequently, sufferings have mounted among the developers and even personal level house builders.
The brick kilns owners are blaming the coal price hike for four consecutive times as the reason for price hike of brick.
Sources said, construction activities by the government level continue for the whole year. Besides, the construction activities in the private level get momentum across the country since November as there is no rain.
As a result, brick sales increaseat that time and the owners of the kilns also spend more time in making bricks. But, a negative impact has fallen on the brick market due to short supply of coal and its price hike as the coal is only one authorized fuel for brick burning or producing in the kilns.
Centering the coal crisis, the production of bricks has also declined. On the other hand, the sale of bricks has similarly reduced due to price hike of bricks.
All of those have brought a strike on development sectors including housing sector.
According to the brick kiln owners, at the beginning of last year, each medium quality brick was sold at Tk 5 to Tk 6. At present, the same quality of bricks is being sold between Tk 7 andTk 8.5. On the other hand, the price of good or high-quality bricks was between Tk 8 to Tk 9 last year. At present, the same quality of bricks is being sold between Tk 12 and Tk 15 at different places in the country.
In some cases, good quality of bricks is being sold for up to Tk 15 per unit (one piece). In the wake of rising brick prices, kiln owners said, coal prices have been rising worldwide since April last year. At that time, the price of high-qualityIndonesian coal was Tk 9000 per ton and South African coal was Tk 8000 per ton. At present, the same quality of coal is being sold at Tk 21,000 per ton. Therefore, the production cost of bricks in the country has also increased.
While talking, some brick kilns owners in Savar and Ashulia area, also outskirt of Dhaka city said, the price of coal is now much higher than the last year. As a result, brick production is being hampered in different kilns as many owners can’t buy coal in reasonable prices. Normally, 30lakh to 40 lakh bricks are produced in each brick kiln every year.But this time, it has not been possible to make more than 6lakh to 7 lakh bricks.
Alhaj Naziruddin, vice-president of Jessore Sadar Upazila’s brick kiln owners’ association said, “I have three kilns. I make 21 million bricks every year. This year, I am not able to make even half of the quantities due to price hike of coal.”
He also said, a ton of high quality of coal was Tk 10,000 last year. In the second phase,the price of per ton of coal increased at Tk 14,000, while it was stood at Tk 16,000 in the third phase. Now per ton of coal is being sold at Tk 21,000.
Brick kilns owners complained that, the coal importers are constantly increasing the prices. It hits development activities in the country severely. Kiln owners buy coal for the brick kiln at the end of the rainy season every year. This year, the price of coal has gone up several times and many kilns’ owners could not buy adequate coal in time. In addition, due to the high price of coal, many owners could not start their brickfieldstimely.
Regarding the price hike of bricks, some people associated with the housing project said that, the price of bricks has increased due to coal price hike. If the coal supply is smooth and the price is reasonable, the brick production will be increased. It will help to reduce the prices of bricks as well as boost the country’s development works.
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