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Shipping Index ‘Baltic-Dry’ Tumbles to Fresh Record Amid China Turmoil

20th January 2016

#RatesTumble - The cost of transporting commodities, plunged to a record amid signs of slowing economic growth in China that’s also hurting the nation’s stock market, reported Bloomsberg.com earlier this month.

• Measure falls to 468 points, lowest since it began in 1985
• Slowing Chinese economic growth seen causing rates to slump

The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of the cost of transporting commodities, plunged to a record amid signs of slowing economic growth in China that’s also hurting the nation’s stock market.

The index retreated 1.1 percent to 468 points, tumbling below a previous record low set in December. Rates declined for all except one of the vessel types monitored. China moved to support its sinking stock market after a $590 billion sell off as state-controlled funds bought equities and the securities regulator signaled a selling ban on major investors will remain beyond this week’s expiration date, according to people familiar with the matter.

While movements in stock markets aren’t directly correlated to shipping rates, both respond to movements in the nation’s wider economy. Growth in China slowed to a 6.9 percent pace last year, the weakest in decades, and will decelerate again this year and next, economists’ forecasts compiled by Bloomberg show. The nation accounts for about two in every three iron ore shipments, the most important cargo for owners.

For more on the global shipping slump and to keep track of further developments, click here and from The Baltic Exhange markets.

Afloat.ie adds to learn more on how the shipping industry works, click the above footage about The Baltic Exchange market, widely regarded as the world's leading source of independent maritime data compiled by a global panel of shipbrokers.

Such information is used by shipbrokers, owners, operators, traders and charterers to assess dry bulk and tanker markets. In addition the maritime data is used as a settlement tool for freight derivative trades, for benchmarking physical contracts and as a general indicator of the bulk market's performance.

Published in Ports & Shipping
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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