Even with the highest production rate, brick makers in Thaton Township, Mon State are making only a small profit when the demand and purchase price remains steady, said those engaged in brick kiln businesses.
The owners of brick kilns working on a manageable scale can afford only small amounts of capital and some owners work with an advanced purchase system. After making the bricks, they are forced to immediately sell all the bricks as they need to pay the wages of labourers. In addition, they have to give the bricks to the advanced purchasers.
“This year, there was a scarcity of wood fuel to bake the bricks, prompting the wood price to rise. We do not receive much demand from other townships. Besides, the erratic weather destroyed the bricks. The owners of the brick kilns are financially not doing well,” said U San Khaing, a brick maker from Thaton Township.
A brick sold for Ks45 early this year, whereas the prevailing price of a brick is now around Ks42. The price of the bricks may vary depending on the delivery location, he added.
“There are about 30 labourers per brick kiln. We earn only a small wage of Ks4,000 a day, working outdoors all day in the scorching heat. However, the brick kilns allow us to earn for a living after crop season,” said U Htay Hlaing, a kiln labourer.
There are officially about 40 brick kiln businesses in Thaton Township. The brick making season is from December to the end of March. A brick kiln is estimated to produce about 400,000 bricks within a season, according to township brick entrepreneurs.
Thet Oo (Thaton)