Jun 05, 2009 Prieur du Plessis, Investment Postcards from Cape Town Commodities, Markets Comments OffPrinter-friendly Version | Email This Article
The Baltic Dry Index – a measure of freight rates for iron ore and bulk commodities – rose non-stop for 23 sessions until Wednesday, before declining somewhat yesterday. This surge represents a gain of 517% from its low on December 5. But one needs to put this in perspective: the Index fell by 94% from its high in May 2008, and therefore still needs to rise by a further 188% to match the previous peak.
More importantly, this rise seems to be more than a snap-back rally and points to better economic tidings. This becomes apparent when considering the close relationship between China’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for New Export Orders and the Baltic Dry Index, showing bothturning sharply higher.
Source:Asset Management (based on data from I-Net Bridge)
Also, the improvement in China’s PMI (with the composite Index back in expansionary territory above 50) and the Baltic Dry Index is consistent with the improvement in the Metals Index. (See my recent post “Secular bull in commodities remains intact“.)
Source: Plexus Asset Management (based on data from I-Net Bridge)
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Dr. Prieur du Plessis is an investment professional with 26 years' experience in investment research and portfolio management. More than 1,200 of his articles on investment-related topics have been published in various regular newspaper, journal and Internet columns, including his blog, Investment Postcards from Cape Town. He has also published a book, Financial Basics: Investment. Prieur is Chairman and principal shareholder of South African-based Plexus Asset Management, which he founded in 1995. The group conducts investment management, investment consulting, private equity and real estate activities in South Africa and a number of foreign countries. He also serves as Honorary Consul of Slovenia for South Africa, actively developing economic, cultural and scientific relations between Slovenia and South Africa. Prieur is 54 years old and live with his wife, television producer and presenter Isabel Verwey, and two children in Cape Town, South Africa. His leisure activities include long-distance running, traveling, reading, motor-cycling and scripophily.
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