Baltic Dry Index Crashes 18% In 2 Days

Tyler Durden's picture

We noted Friday that the much-heralded Baltic Dry Index has seen the worst start to the year in over 30 years. Today it got worse. At 1,395, the the Baltic Dry index, which reflects the daily charter rate for vessels carrying cargoes such as iron ore, coal and grain, is now down 18% in the last 2 days alone (biggest drop in 6 years), back at 4-month lows. The shipping index has utterly collapsed over 40% in the last 2 weeks. We are sure this is just a storm in a teacup and that all the hopes and prayers of a global manufacturing renaissance will come true. Cue, "this is not a demand issue, it's an over-capacity issue" excuses in 3...2...1... now where would the container ships get their idea to increase capacity? (hint: central planner-based mal-investment)



Of course, we are sure the 'lead' that the Baltic Dry seems to have over global macro will be quickly ignored...


On potential driver of the price plunge is Colombia's tougher stance on coal exports (via The FT):

The Baltic Dry index is followed closely as a barometer of global trade but Friday’s plunge came in the wake of new environmental rules on ship loading in Colombia, the world’s fourth-largest supplier of seaborne thermal coal.


On Wednesday, US miner Drummond halted loading of coal at its port in the country after it failed to comply with the rules. Colombian National Resources, a miner owner by Goldman Sachs, is also reported to have stopped exports because it cannot comply with the new regulations.


Colombia, which exports almost 70 per cent of its coal to Europe, has been working on tightening its environmental regulations and last year fined Drummond, the country’s second-biggest coal miner, for dumping material into the sea while rescuing a sinking barge.


The new rules stipulate that coal exporters load ships using conveyor belts instead of by barge and crane. Drummond will not be ready to comply with the new rules until March.


However, over-stocking remains the major issue (which hints at Q3/4's surprise inventory builds and macro surprise) is anything but sustainable:

The physical steel product prices, along with the rebar futures, in China have been falling continuously since mid of December, thanks to the sluggish downstream demand in winter period and the high financing cost,” Mr Guo said.


“More importantly, our figures show that the current iron ore stocks at major mills have been available for 21.5 days of consumption, which is the highest level in two years. All of these result in no incentive from the mills to maintain their purchasing appetite as in the fourth quarter of last year,” he added.

Chart: Bloomberg

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undercover brother's picture

Everyone knows the baltic dry index is useless since the invention of teleportation.  

hedgeless_horseman's picture



HARPEX shows that container shipping is still dead...

LawsofPhysics's picture

Yes, the sociopaths in charge have long recognized that eCONomies no longer depend on real goods and services being traded.



TruthInSunshine's picture

It's due to the Polar Vortex. The cargo ships are all stuck in ice. Dennis Kneale said so.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Just one edit, "the sociopaths in charge have long since recognized that their eCONomy no longer depends..."

Emergency Ward's picture

Item from today's ZH FRONT RUNNING: "Diana Shipping (DSX) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank"

kralizec's picture

Somebody wants a pump prior to their dump.

SilverDOG's picture




Depends are #1 UPS delivery package in my county and neighboring county.

UPS's economy is !

Wolferl's picture

So you wanna tell me Baltic Dry is meaningless now? Thx for opening my eyes. ;-)

Bunga Bunga's picture

Get over it, economic indicators are only meaningful if propaganda says so.

666's picture

I would think some of this is seasonal as well, especially after the fantastic holiday sales period.

Laughing Stock's picture



ZH BDI Hair on Fire Alert

Uh? Just " a wee bit" of seasonaility in dems charts

Move along

Sudden Debt's picture

whatever you find on the shores is yours to keep... but how do you take it home...

XAU XAG's picture

Every country is making things in house ...........nothing to worry about!



XAU XAG's picture

If this carries on in another 2 weeks it will have dropped 80% and in 4 weeks ..............negative


Black swans all over the place

0b1knob's picture

Negative shipping rates?  That's impossible!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh wait....


HungryPorkChop's picture

The Baltic Dry Index is only down because they Released The Kraken and all ships are being eated or afraid to sail.

We know it has nothing to do with real trade since the stock market is doing quite well during the past year.  So it must be a legendary creature which is causing this BDI plunge!

Here's a photo of the creature recently spotted off the shore of Greece:

o2sd's picture

The Baltic Dry Index is only down because they Released The Kraken and all ships are being eated or afraid to sail.

I think you may need to rethink your understanding of supply and demand.


TheRideNeverEnds's picture

Meanwhile the VIX futures are making new multi year lows. 



flacon's picture

Exactly. I just want ONE DAY of sanity in this market. Just ONE DAY. Is that too much to ask for? 

Oh, and Chuck Schumer, guess what? FUCK YOU!

undercover brother's picture

any state that continually elects representatives with no moral center get what they deserve (NY, NV, CA, etc.)

BuddyEffed's picture

Looks like you missed an "N" state making a lot of current news for "moral" traffic hazard.

BuddyEffed's picture

"now where would the container ships get their idea to increase capacity? (hint: central planner-based mal-investment"

Central planning errs on both sides, overcapacity in ships, under capacity in bridge traffic flow...


Too many eggs in one (Chinese) basket?

Cursive's picture

Tyler, show us the chart dating back to 2007.  The 2013 peak looks like a mole hill in comparison.

flacon's picture

Maybe he should show a comparison between the BDI and the SPY. If this surge in the S&P since 2009 looks like a mountain, that's because it is - compare it to the "molehill" of the BDI. 

MFLTucson's picture

Whats the difference what we are shipping when you can just print money, lie about the employment picture an allow a group of unelected gangsters (Fed Reserve) to prop up a stock market?  We have become a country builtt on deception and propoganda since the Kenyan took office!

BuddyEffed's picture

"since the Kenyan took office" ?  Come again?  It's a long bread crumb trail.   Do you even recall who the first 700 billion bailout was done under which set the tone and trend in these matters?  And that's just looking at one crumb on a very long trail.

kridkrid's picture

Teddy. He got Wilson elected, by design.

Seize Mars's picture

Important data point. They don't teach that in government school. I wonder why?

kridkrid's picture

It was an interesting election. The winning, 2nd and 3rd place vote percentages were almost identical to 1992. Clinton = Wilson, Bush = Taft, Teddy = Ross Perot. All 3 were within 2% points, if I recall correctly. WW sold his soul for his alma mater. In return, he was asked to support, 1. Federal Income tax, 2. Federal Reserve, 3. US involvement WWI (which didn't exist at the time of the election, obviously... he was merely told to let the grown ups run foreign policy (Wall Street).

frankTHE COIN's picture

The Polar Vortex, is a MoFo.

Winston Churchill's picture

Dr. Copper is showing signs of consumptive heart failure as well.

Looks like the Wile E Coyote period is over, and gravity is working again.

Going Loco's picture

"Dr. Copper is showing signs of consumptive heart failure as well."

Huh? Not on my chart. Still in the same range it's been in since April 2013

TalkToLind's picture

Cash for tankers, bitchez.  Turn in your old container vessels and receive US gubermint rebates to purchase shiny new ones!  

Dr. Engali's picture

With the widespread adoption of bitcoin, maybe people are buying virtual product with their virtual currency for their virtual farmville.

fonzannoon's picture

"Columbian National Resources, a miner owned by Goldman Sachs"

I mean holy shit. 

shutdown's picture

Wow!  You know what this means?

Go long on revolutions.

GotNuttin'todo's picture

That's because the great global economy driver, the good ol USA, is becoming self-sufficient and doesn't need all those imports anymore! Got all the shale oil we will ever need. If looks like we are becoming self-sufficient in ore and coal too. Next we won't even need to import any rare earth minerals.

walküre's picture

Lies, false hope and manipulations everywhere.

The BDI almost doubled from the lows in 2012 because the "recovery story" was believable. Subsequently inventory was build up because all were eager to get ready for that greastet economic feast year 2014 ever!

Well guess what, Cramerites. You were all lied to, you wasted a ton of money that you thought was cheap and you made investments that are never going to pay off.


22winmag's picture

The end of the beginnging or the beginning of the end?

neptune-klm's picture

i would like to see a chart back to 2007, can't find one anywhere.


walküre's picture

BDI collapsed pretty much in synch with DRYS or vv.

pragmatic hobo's picture

looks better than 2012.