Friday, February 11, 2011

Baltic Dry Index Sees Freight Rates Rise - At Last

First Real Hike Since December
Shipping News Feature

UK - WORLD WIDE - The Baltic Dry Index took its first tentative steps upward this week when it closed yesterday at 1136 points, up from the dismal 1043 it bottomed out at a week ago. The index, which gives a picture of dry bulk freight carriage prices globally, has been plunging downwards from a high of 2784 achieved in late October.

In January we pointed out that the tumbling rates were bound to cause disaster for some but as commentators on that article mentioned there will always be some who profit, buying at a low point and watching rates rise. The calamitous flooding in Australia was bound to impact on rates one way or another and, as usual a fluctuating Chinese market has very real effect on shipping prices.

Although the signs to report are good we are still a long way from the 4000+ achieved last May and to most bulk freighter owners the heady rates of in excess of 11,000 points we witnessed in mid 2008 must now seem a distant dream, unfortunately one which led to many in the market overextending and spawning a nightmare.

Photo: courtesy “K” Line Bulk Shipping (UK) Ltd.