Brick makers confident of meeting rising demand

Grant Prior 9 months ago
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Brick makers are confident of meeting rising demand despite widespread reports of materials shortages.

The Enquirer reported earlier this year on site worries among house builders about shortages of bricks, blocks and roof tiles.

Those supply concerns have also been flagged-up in recent results from Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon while manufacturer Ibstock said “industry demand is often in excess of capacity across the course of a year.”

Leaders of the Brick Development Association are sceptical about shortages and confident that member firms can satisfy demand.

Spokesman Tom Farmer said: “There is a scarcity of reliable information about the general availability of building materials, hence we find many commentators relying on anecdotal information from a relatively small number of respondents.

“We are confident that the manufacturing numbers meet current demand. In 2017 UK brick factories delivered over 2 billion bricks – the last time despatch volumes reached that figure was in 2007.

“However, there is a huge number of different brick types available, and manufacturing schedules may make it difficult to get hold of individual brick types at short notice while issues within the supply chain may cause problems for contractors who have not properly scheduled their work in advance.

“Our members continue to focus on increasing their capacity, so we anticipate that the volume of brick production in this country will continue to rise throughout 2018 and beyond, with imports also playing a role in meeting demand from a buoyant UK house building industry.”

Latest figures produced by the Office for National Statistics for February revealed that brick production figures continue to rise.

The ONS statistics show a 6% rise on February 2017 while the rolling quarterly figures for December 2017– February 2018 show a 13% increase on the same period the previous year.

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