The new BRICK Economies

They are the very same old BRIC Economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China. In the years gone by a reasonable amount of money could have been made by investing into these countries individual stock markets as they supplied the goods being consumed by the booming developed nations of the West. Then in 2008 with the demise of the Developed Western economies it had a knock on effect and it was no longer happy days to be invested in the BRIC economies. This is all well known and those investors that were there on a buy and hold strategy saw their profits disappear. These people hopefully will have learned the lesson that a rising market is like sex and it feels best just before the end.

So why have these countries acquired the new but similar mnemonic “BRICK”. It`s simply because they have now added bricks to their list of exports to the developed world and in particular to Britain. It is common knowledge that there is a shortage of new- build homes, but not so well known is that there is also a shortage of bricks. That astounds me. Surely it cannot be so hard to turn up the volume at the UK brick kilns. It turns out however that this is not the problem; it is simply one of price. Even with the cost of shipping these imported bricks are still cheaper. Cheap labour and materials I can understand, but shipping; how does that work? Again it has a simple explanation. Ships were built to carry all of those exports from the BRIC economies in the boom times and then recession struck in the West and then these same ships were travelling light. So down comes the cost of shipping as the shippers compete for the remaining trade, and now they will carry bricks and so compete with home produced products.

I know this, as I have just had to buy 3500 bricks for a garden development. “Old style look” home produced bricks cost around two pounds each and the equivalent from China and India are half this price. It`s a continually changing funny old world and this simple example demonstrates the necessity to continually review where you are invested and if necessary move with the times.