Brexit: BDI to remain stable?

Brexit: BDI to remain stable?
Published: 01 July 2016


Following the result of last week’s ‘Brexit’ vote many questions regarding its long-term aftermath have arisen, with some predicting a curb in the global economy’s growth. As reported by Hellenic Shipping News, Allied’s Head of Market Research & Asset Valuations, George Lazaridis commented on the matter, saying, “The intense uncertainty and volatility will only amplify that which has already been seen in shipping markets up until today and will likely bring about a big series of further problems in terms of the balance between supply and demand.”

However, it is not all doom and gloom for the freight market. The BDI has remained above 600 for the majority of 2QFY16, far above its low of 290 recorded 10 February 2016. The overall index was up 20 points, 3.13 per cent, at 660 points on 30 June. This growth may be supported by the expansion in China’s average monthly iron import volume, which has increased at a rate of four per cent YoY in 2016, double the rate seen in 2015. A growth in coal imports was also witnessed, with a 1.4 per cent YoY rise for average monthly imports, compared to 2015. This advance is a positive development following a 30 per cent YoY drop in 2015, compared to 2014.

In other news, the expansion of the Panama Canal has significantly reduced shipping time between the US and Asian markets. The newly-expanded route will now be able to accommodate 90 per cent of the world’s LNG tankers. Previously, the canal would only provide access  to the 30 smallest tankers (six per cent of the global fleet). In light of this, average voyage time from the US Gulf Coast to Japan will be reduced to 20 days, compared to previous transit times of 34 days for voyages around the southern tip of Africa or 31 days if transiting through the Suez Canal.