The Baltic Dry Index (BDI, a measure of shipping rates for commodities such as coal and iron ore) has plummeted lately, from over 4,000 in May to just 2,400 right now due primarily to falling transportation demand for iron ore and coal.
Yet the shipping industry remains bullish.
A June survey conducted by Hellenic Shipping News found that, out of 4,118 respondents, 45.4% expect the BDI to trade within a range of 3,000 – 4,000 in the second half of this year.
33%, a large group of uber bulls, predict a range above 4,000. Only 21.7% expect a range of 2,500 – 3,000, which is still decent, and it seems like almost nobody expects a further collapse going forward. No wonder people are building ships like wild.
Just beware that predicting the BDI, even for industry veterans, is a bit like guessing today whether or not it will snow on Christmas. The industry has frequently made catastrophic mistakes, collectively.
Hope for the best, for shareholders of companies like DryShips (DRYS), Excel Maritime (EXM), Genco (GNK), and Diana (DSX).