The global economy is (almost) stopped and the price of crude oil is very low, so why did the Baltic Dry Index — an index that shows the cost per unit time of transportation in principal routes around the world — rise by 65% this year?

Given that the price of oil is very low, and that the global demand for products has decreased (which also decreased the demand for ships), why is the cost of transportation rising?

  • It's likely that there is increased demand for commodities other than oil. – Bob Baerker Oct 25 '20 at 18:42

The BDI is actually down on 12 months.


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It is just bouncing around as it normally does, and nothing dramatic has happened either way.

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Nothing to see here. Could be OP is looking at some bad data or ?

Year to date ....

It seems OP has seen this chart fragment:

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If you glance at that chart fragment, you might think "wow! amazing! why such a run up!"

Whenever this happens, just go back a bit further on the chart:

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in this case, it's nothing more than a seasonal dip. A non-issue.

(One might ask, "why was the end of year run up and the dip, bigger than usual?" Who knows or cares - it could be a million reasons. Why was Apple flat for 25 years? Why has orange juice been trending down slightly for 10 years? Who knows.)

In short, the "huge runup" mentioned by the OP is nothing more than a dip, OP didn't notice the other half of the dip. Always scroll out to a bigger chart!

Price of oil

The price of oil did have a "wild spike down" a few months ago, but that's over.

I don't see that the price of oil is particularly low.

It's just where it's always been.

There was a run-up in the first part of this century but that seems to be over. (There was also a run-up around 1980.)

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(Do note that when you look at the price of anything over many decades, of course you have to consider what it "means": crap html programmers didn't make $300,000 salaries in 1990, when we were kids a cup of coffee was 25 cents, etc etc.)

  • OP is asking about YTD (i.e. from 2020-01-01 to today 2020-10-25), not about the past 12 months. – Flux Oct 25 '20 at 15:54
  • Ah, thanks for pointing that out .. I'll explain it now for the OP. – Fattie Oct 25 '20 at 15:55

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