Belgian masonry brick industry 2008

Having enjoyed exceptionally strong growth from 2004 through 2007, the Belgian construction branch was already braced for a building-sector downturn. Nor has the country‘s industry remained unscathed by the global crisis, although the domestic market has maintained a relatively high level of stability, at least in comparison with many other countries, where the building sector has hit rock bottom. Total national revenues were down about 4.4 % in 2008, and exports were off by 14 %. Prospects for 2009 are still meagre, as the stimulation measures that have been adopted are not expected to take hold before 2010.

Overall production

In 2008 the Belgian brick and tile industry produced 2.294 mill. m3 bricks and thus decreased by 6.6 % the production compared to 2007.

 

Backing bricks (= common bricks)

The production of backing bricks amounts to 1.284 mill. m3 which corresponds to 56 % of the total production. Perforated bricks used for constructing interior walls and partitions represent with 1.277 mill. m3 the largest part of the total production.

Solid bricks are almost no longer used, the amount of production of these amounts very low.

 

Facing bricks

In 2008 1.010 mill. m3 facing bricks were produced –  44 % of the total production.

The facing bricks are subdivided into two categories: extruded bricks and handmade bricks.

In the year 2008 178 000 m3 extruded bricks were produced.

Handmade bricks produced amounted to 832 000 m3. The success of facing bricks can be explained by the large selection in regard to formats, surface finishes and colours.

 

Export – Import

Exports amounted in 2008 to 498 000 m3, i.e. 21.7% of the total production. The export figures are based on a questionnaire among the Association members. Imports decreased in comparison with the previous year, they reached 95 000 m3. The imports thus correspond to 19% of the export figures.
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