The Baltic Dry Trade is the Dead Canary in the Economic Mineshaft

Discussion in 'Financial Cents' started by UncleMorgan, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    The Baltic Dry Trade is the acitivity of ships moving goods around the world. When businesses stop producing, raw materials and finished goods don't get shipped. Collapses in the Baltic Dry Trade usually foreshadow economic downturns by about eight weeks, That's how long the world economy can run (basically) on inertia,

    It's never hit zero before. It has now.

    Even at the worst of 2008, it was still at about 5% of the norm. The last 5% is a huge step down. It's like the difference between breathing a little and breathing none at all.

    Keep a sharp eye on the businesses in your area.Don't get caught short on what you need to get by.

    "Nothing Is Moving," Baltic Dry Crashes As Insiders Warn "Commerce Has Come To A Halt" | Zero Hedge
    pearlselby likes this.
  2. mysterymet

    mysterymet Monkey+++

    It isn't true. Ships are moving just not as many as usual
  3. DarkLight

    DarkLight Live Long and Prosper - On Hiatus Site Supporter

    I have to say it smacks of fear mongering.
  4. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Investigating Claims "North Atlantic Trade Ground to a Halt, No Ships Moving"; The Real Shipping Story

    Commerce Ground to a Halt?

    Claims have surfaced that not a single transport ship in the North Atlantic is moving.

    For example, "Superstation" claims that in a Historic First, hundreds of ships are said to all be anchored along coasts, with nothing moving.

    ZeroHedge picked up the story in "Nothing Is Moving," Baltic Dry Crashes As Insiders Warn "Commerce Has Come To A Halt".

    Countless others picked up the story from ZeroHedge who "confirmed" the story.

    ZeroHedge said "We checked and it appears to show no ships in transit anywhere in the world. We aren’t experts on shipping, however, so if you have a better site or source to track this apparent phenomenon, please let us know. We also checked, and it seemed to show the same thing. Not a ship in transit…"

    The Real Shipping Story

    Let's sort out reality from hype from Marine.Com.

    Cargo Vessels and Tankers Anchored



    click on any image for sharper view

    Cargo Vessels and Tankers Underway



    Tankers Underway



    As you can easily see, the numbers vary from chart to chart. Ships are moving.

    The first thing I do when I see reports like "No Ships Moving" is look for mainstream news confirmation.

    If no ships were moving, this would indeed be news and some reputable news site would have the story. The "no ships moving" story failed the "sniff test" from moment one.

    Confirmation of economic stories is different than confirmation of political stories. Coverups of sex attacks in Germany and Sweden, and police killings in Chicago and other US cities highlights the difference.

    Other Shipping Measures

    Let's now investigate other indicators of slowing shipments Including the Baltic Dry Index and the Harper Petersen shipping Index.

    Baltic Dry



    The above chart from Bloomberg.

    The Baltic Dry index measures shipping rates for dry goods.

    The problem with Baltic Dry is the index is a function of excess shipping capacity and volumes shipped. It provides little information on shipping container sizes. Rates can sink because of increased shipping capacity (new ships) or sinking demand, or both.

    Week after week I receive emails telling me the Baltic Dry Index is plunging. Stop the Emails! I know.

    Harper Petersen provides much more information.

    Harper Petersen Shipping Index - 10 Year History



    Harper Petersen Shipping Index - 2 Year History



    Harper Petersen Vessel Size Rates - 2 Year History




    TEU stands for twenty-foot-equivalent unit. It's an imprecise term because lengths have a 20-foot long (6.1 meters) standard but heights vary. Heights range from 2 feet three inches to 9 foot six inches. The most common heights are 8 feet 6 inches (2.6 m) and 9 feet 6 inches (2.9 m).



    Myth vs. Reality

    Contrary to popular myth, shipping has not ground to a halt. However, shipping volumes and shipping rates have both plunged. 2015 was a disaster by any measure.

    There's no need to exaggerate. Reality is bad enough.

    Mike "Mish" Shedlock
    Read more at Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: Investigating Claims "North Atlantic Trade Ground to a Halt, No Ships Moving"; The Real Shipping Story
    Garand69 and Cruisin Sloth like this.
  5. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    Funny how shipping dips in Jan/Feb. I can say that usually during this time of year. There is NO cargo moving by water around Michigan.
  6. mysterymet

    mysterymet Monkey+++

  7. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    I have a couple of family members in international shipping. The xmas shipping season, also known as Peak (for peak annual volume) was very heavy with them working hundreds of containers per day moving freight to forward to the national distribution sites. About two weeks before xmas, the volume drops off considerably. They are currently working about 50 can's a day right now....freight is moving, just at a reduced rate due to the season.
    Garand69 and Cruisin Sloth like this.
  8. Legion489

    Legion489 Rev. 2:19 Banned

    I agree. I see very little shipping in AZ or NM either.
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