The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of shipping costs for commodities, posted its best-ever annual advance in London after record iron-ore demand from China.
The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of shipping costs for commodities, posted its best-ever annual advance in London after record iron-ore demand from China. The index tracking transport costs on international trade routes advanced 288 percent this year, exceeding the record 174 percent set in 2003, data from the Baltic Exchange show. The gauge was first published in 1985. Shipping costs rebounded this year, after plunging a record 92 percent last year, as the global economy recovered from its deepest recession since World War II. China, the world"s biggest consumer of iron ore and coal, spent $586 billion to stimulate its economy. The two commodities are the biggest cargoes carried by ships included in the Baltic Dry Index.
?Next year is going to be a better year than a lot of people expect, but a lot depends on Chinese demand continuing,? said Michael Gaylard, strategic director at Freight Investor Services Ltd., a London-based derivatives broker.
Seaborne trade in coal, ore, grains and other dry bulk commodities will drop 1.2 percent to 2.997 billion metric tons this year, according to London-based Drewry Shipping Consultants Ltd. Ships carry about 90 percent of world trade, The Round Table of International Shipping Associations estimates.
The index swung between 772 points and 4,661 points this year, dropping as much as 29 percent in September and gaining as much as 96 percent in February and May.
?We"re going to see increased volatility which is going to exacerbate tightness and slackness,? Gaylard said.
The index fell 0.6 percent to 3,005 points today, the last day it will price this year. Capesizes, most commonly used to haul iron ore cargoes to China from Brazil and Australia, lost 1 percent $37,191 a day. Smaller panamaxes added 0.7 percent to $28,620 a day. Supramaxes declined lost 1 percent to $23,253 a day and handysizes lost 1.2 percent to $16,862 a day.