International price increases of coal which has grown about 70 per cent per tonne due to high demand amid the global economic recovery especially that from China has a ripple effect affecting Bangladesh’s construction industry.
The country has a demand of about 80 lakh tonnes of coal. Brickfields uses 70 per cent of these in their operation while the rest is utilized by the garment and power sector as stated by a major coal importer.
Only 10 or 12 companies like Partex, Bashundhara, Akij and Uttara traders import coal from Australia, Indonesia, India and South Africa. Conservationists also stopped importing coal from India for 8 months. All of these have contributed to increasing coal prices and freight costs.
The price for coal has increased from $70 per tonne to $120 per tonne in the international market while in the local market the price for coal has increased from Tk8,000 to Tk18,000.
Though such price increases will not affect the garment industry as stated by the vice president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) , there is no telling whether this will affect the brick manufacturing industry as stated by the president of Bangladesh Brick Manufacturing Owners Association (BBMOA) where he predicts that the price may increase by Tk1,000 per tonne.
As per data by BBMOA, Bangladesh needs 1,500 Crore bricks every year.