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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Doug McCann Research and Statistics Officer
Tel: 902-424-2141Email:

January 02, 2018


The BDI measures procurement costs of shipping raw materials by sea. When these costs go down, producers benefit from increased margins, and consumers benefit from lower prices for finished products.

On May 20, 2008, the Baltic Exchange reported the BDI = 11,793 a new high for the index. Before the year was out, the BDI dropped to 663 on 5 December 2008.

On February 10, 2016, the Baltic Exchange reported the BDI = 290 a new low for the index. When the index drops below 500, shipping companies tend to idle their fleets as variable costs cannot be recovered.



On 12 December 2017, the Baltic Exchange reported the BDI = 1,743, a new recent high for the index, but 594 below the most recent high four years ago on 12 December 2013 (2,337).

On the last trading day in December 2017, the Baltic Exchange reported the BDI = 1,366, an increase of 405 points over the  last trading day in December 2016 (961), andan increase of 1076 points  over February 10, 2016.


Bloomberg quote:

"One benchmark of worldwide demand for raw materials is in a steady uptrend that began around mid-year. The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of freight rates for shipping dry bulk commodities around the globe, recently hit its highest point since early 2014. As economic activity picks up, prices tend to follow along with demand for industrial materials."

Bloomburg December 21, 2017 What our economists say...

From media reports:

  • An improving Baltic Dry Index results in an increase orders for new vessels. New build orders almost doubled in 2017 over 2016. Ship Bunker September 22, 2017.
  • China is the world’s leading consumer of the metals, minerals and other raw materials. The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) is often a sign of Chinese demand for commodities. Hecht Commodity Report 25 September 2017


Bloomberg (interative chart)
Baltic Dry Index - BDI (BALDRY), wikinvest
The Shipping News
The Baltic Exchange



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