ChartBrief #1 - Global Freight Rates
ChartBrief ...what's a ChartBrief? (you might be thinking) But then again, the name kind of says it all. ChartBrief is a new series or format of posts that will be featuring on Topdown Charts. It's a chart and at most 2 paragraphs. It differs from the usual article here which goes through a series of charts and ties it all together with some sort of theme, outlook, or investment conclusion. ChartBrief is meant to be an efficient means of getting interesting, thought provoking, and breaking news charts up, but with a bit more commentary and context than you might get on the Twitter feed.
So here's the first one (and yes they will all be numbered, so we can refer back to them easily)
An interesting trend has emerged in two key global freight cost indexes; the well known Baltic Dry Index, and the slightly lesser known China Containerized Freight Index (CCFI). The former tends to deal more in bulk commodities, and the latter has broader coverage and specifically measures freight rates for Chinese exports - a useful thing given China still remains an important global supplier.
After hitting their worst levels earlier this year (February for the Baltic Dry and April for the CCFI) both have begun a gradual recovery process. These indexes provide a proxy for global trade demand, and both are high frequency indicators (daily for the Baltic Dry and weekly for the CCFI), so are worth keeping an eye on. The nascent improving trend is a positive sign for global trade growth.