August 20, 2016

Mon State brick kiln enterprises hit by appreciated expenses, waning sales

Bricks making site in Thaton. Photo: Myitmakha News Agency
Bricks making site in Thaton. Photo: Myitmakha News Agency

ACCORDING to brick makers in Mon State’s Thaton Township, an increase in manufacturing expenses of earth brick kiln enterprises has coincided with a waning of sales, resulting in low profits.
The combination of waning brick sales, the destruction of bricks from torrential rains, together with an appreciation in value of wood fuel, has resulted in the current brick manufacturing market not being cost-effective.
“In addition to the lack of appreciation in the price [of bricks], few [construction] projects this year means a real drop in sales. As sales are rare, we can’t price up [our bricks to make things cost-effective],” said U San Khaing, a brick maker in Thaton township.
The price of a single brick sold on site has not appreciated from last year’s value of K37, while the cost of a brick delivered to a construction site within the town of Thaton fetches K43, although the price of delivered bricks is dependent upon distance.
A day labourer in the brick making industry in 2015 received a daily wage of K3,300, but this has increased in 2016 to K4,000, according to U San Khaing.
“Having this brick manufacturing work available allows us to continue earning money once the cultivation season is over. Alternative forms of employment are scarce. One brick kiln can employ around thirty people. A brick worker can earn about K4,000 from working in the sun all day, but that’s all families have to live off,” said U Htay Hlaing, a local brick worker.
Around thirty officially licensed brick kilns are operating within Thaton Township. The brick manufacturing season runs from December to the end of March, with one brick kiln having the capacity to produce an average of approximately four million bricks per season, according to township brick kiln owners.—Myitmakha News Agency


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