Friday, January 31, 2020

Shipping: Baltic Dry Index In Freefall As Cost To Move Bulk Cargo Plummets

ZeroHedge headlines the coronavirus with the BDI decline (as did Bloomberg*) although it's not really true, the index has been heading south for months.
That said, the coronavirus is causing some interesting logistics pricing. CBS is reporting there's a Hong Kong to New York flight for $186.00, if you don't mind the 6 hour layover in Wuhan.

Back to bulk cargo. From ZeroHedge: 

Virus Shock Crashes Baltic Dry, Sparks China Hard-Landing Fears
The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index plunged on Friday, with rates for capsize vessels hitting a record low as an economic shock could be developing in China as two-thirds of its economy has been shut down because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Baltic Dry Index, which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, ferry dry bulk commodities across the world slipped 11 points, or about 2.2%, to 487, the lowest level since April 2016, reported Reuters.

The Baltic index has plunged 10.5% this week as coronavirus cases in China soared, and factories and cities in some of the largest industrial hubs in the world ground to a halt. This in itself is producing an economic shock, first seen in industrial metals and energy prices plummeting in the last several weeks.

The capesize index has fallen by more than 99% this week, the sharpest drop on record as demand for large-sized bulk carriers and tankers typically above 150,000 deadweight tonnage, comes to an abrupt stop.

The panamax index declined 3.5% on Friday, down 14% on the week.
The supramax index lost 4 points to 524 on Friday.

We've noted that the "frontloading" effect ahead of tariff deadlines ended in late 3Q19 when the first signs of a trade resolution emerged between the U.S. and China.

In the last four months, the Baltic index has crashed the most since 2008 and has confirmed our slowbalisation thoughts.....MORE
gCaptain had the Reuters piece yesterday:
Baltic Dry Index Falls to Over 3-Year Low
but we thought it more important to share the story of the farmers in India trying to scare off the monkeys stealing their crops.

Back to gCaptain,
*Here's the Bloomberg story, January 31:
Coronavirus Hammers Bulk Shipping

And another Reuters story, January 30:
Capesize Rates Slump to All-Time Low