Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Global shipping trends remain a challenge

One measure of assessing global trade dynamics is the Baltic Dry Index which tracks the cost for shipping building materials, coal, crude oil, metallic ores, and grains around the world. The index is actually an average of three indexes: the Baltic Supramax, Panamax, and Capesize. (chart presents weekly performance since Nov. 1995)

The index, after reaching a high on May 21, 2008, has been significantly impacted by 1) a slowdown in global trade, 2) an oversupply of ships and 3) the challenges by shippers to obtain letters of credit.

While the aggregate index recently has stopped declining, the Capesize component continues to slowly trend lower. Capesize ships are generally associated with shipping crude oil. Additionally, some ships are been used to store, rather than ship goods. A reversal of these trends are among the metrics needed to support a positive view of the market.

No comments:

Post a Comment