Historic Low for Baltic Dry Bulk Freight Index

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

December 15, 2015

Dry Bulk Shipping. Photo: Cambiaso & Risso

Dry Bulk Shipping. Photo: Cambiaso & Risso

 The Baltic Dry Index fell 4.7 percent to 484 points, the lowest in Baltic Exchange data starting in January 1985.

 
Baltic Dry Index is compiled by the London-based Baltic Exchange and covers prices for transported cargo such as coal, grain and iron ore. 
 
The index is based on a daily survey of agents all over the world. Baltic Dry hit a temporary peak on May 20, 2008, when the index hit 11,793. The lowest level ever reached was on Tuesday, December 15, 2015, when the index dropped to 484 points.
 
According to Bloomberg, the shipping industry’s most-watched measure of rates for hauling commodities plunged to a fresh record amid a persisting glut of ships and speculation weakening Chinese steel output could translate into declining imports of iron ore to make the alloy.
 
Rates for three of the four ship types tracked by the exchange retreated. China, which makes about half the world’s steel, is on track for the biggest drop in output for more than two decades, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence.
 
Owners are reeling as China’s combined seaborne imports of iron ore and coal -- commodities that helped fuel a manufacturing boom -- record the first annual declines in at least a decade. 
 
Rates for Capesize ships fell by between 13 percent and 15 percent, the Baltic Exchange’s figures showed. Smaller Panamaxes, which can navigate the waterway, advanced 0.3 percent to $3,285 a day. The two other vessel types that the Baltic Exchange monitors both declined.
 
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