Builders' suppliers drop a billion bricks on shortage claims

Builders' suppliers drop a billion bricks on shortage claims

The Builders Merchants Federation, the trade body representing the firm’s that make and deliver bricks, has come down like a ton of bricks on shoddy research claiming there is a brick shortage. Their research shows that a billion bricks are ready and waiting for use in the UK building industry.

A report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, released last week, sparked controversy by claiming that there is a shortage of 1.4 billion bricks in the UK. The true picture has been revealed in new figures from the Builder’s Merchants Federation which show that there are over 1 billion bricks made and ready for supply to the building industry.

Representing both brick manufacturers and the 300 plus merchants who supply bricks to builders via 4300 branches, the Builders Merchants Federation speaks for the biggest distribution channel for bricks in the country, accounting for over 75% of the total UK brick market.

BMF figures show that brick manufacturers are currently holding stocks of around 650 million and merchants have stocks of around 350 million, giving a total stock count in the UK of around 1 billion bricks. The official figures for brick manufacturers show that stocks are around 40% higher this year than last.

“Brick supplies are very healthy” says John Newcomb, MD of the Builders Merchants Federation. “Manufacturers and merchants have good stocks of over a billion bricks and sales this year are projected at 1.8 billion bricks”.

“I would like to invite the researchers behind this report to come and meet with manufacturers and merchants so that they can see the stocks for themselves. They will then realise is it their research that is a few bricks short of a load, not our supplies.”