Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Shipping indexes tell sobering tale

The Baltic Dry Index (BALDRY) is a number which indicates the cost of chartering ships for carrying dry raw materials across the world's oceans. Chart source here

The Harper Petersen shipping index (HARPEX) is a number indicating the cost of chartering ships to carry finished products across the world's oceans. Index source here

The two indexes above indicate a significant reduction in freight rates for goods, both raw materials and finished products. It has been argued that the reduced freight rates are a result of increased tonnage coming on stream, and while this may have some impact on the numbers, the correlation between the two indexes indicates that other forces are at play as well.

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