Baltic Dry Index - BDI

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Baltic Dry Index - BDI'

A shipping and trade index created by the London-based Baltic Exchange that measures changes in the cost to transport raw materials such as metals, grains and fossil fuels by sea. The Baltic Exchange directly contacts shipping brokers to assess price levels for a given route, product to transport and time to delivery (speed).

The Baltic Dry Index is a composite of three sub-indexes that measure different sizes of dry bulk carriers (merchant ships) - Capesize, Supramax and Panamax. Multiple geographic routes are evaluated for each index to give depth to the index's composite measurement.

It is also known as the "Dry Bulk Index".

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Baltic Dry Index - BDI'

Changes in the Baltic Dry Index can give investors insight into global supply and demand trends. This change is often considered a leading indicator of future economic growth (if the index is rising) or contraction (index is falling) because the goods shipped are raw, pre-production material, which is typically an area with very low levels of speculation.

Because the supply of large carriers tends to remain very tight, with long lead times and high production costs, the index can experience high levels of volatility if global demand increases or drops off suddenly. The Baltic Exchange also operates as a maker of markets in freight derivatives, a type of forward contract known as FFAs (forward freight agreements) that are traded over-the-counter.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Business Cycle

    The fluctuations in economic activity that an economy experiences ...
  2. Baltic Tiger

    A colloquial term that refers to any one of the three Baltic ...
  3. Address Commission

    The fee paid by vessel owners to charterers, the party who owns ...
  4. Baltic Exchange

    An exchange that handles the trading and settlement of both physical ...
  5. Intermodal Freight

    Products and raw materials that are placed in a container that ...
  6. Lagging Indicator

    1. A measurable economic factor that changes after the economy ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. What is affected by the interest rate risk?

    Interest rate risk is the risk that arises when the absolute level of interest rates fluctuate. Interest rate risk directly ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Why is a Free on Board (FOB) designation important for freight transportation?

    A free on board (FOB) designation specifies whether the buyer is responsible for freight charges and determines the obligations ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How does the International Chamber of Commerce define the term 'Free on Board' (FOB)?

    The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is one of world's largest business organizations and has published a set of trade ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What determines if an international trade is Ex Works (EXW) or Free on Board (FOB)?

    "Ex works" (EXW) and "free on board" (FOB) are international trade terms that dictate the responsibilities of buyers and ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How are transportation costs and risks assigned in an Ex Works (EXW) trade?

    An ex works (EXW) trade agreement is part of the Incoterms rules and requires the sellers of goods to make the goods readily ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is the distinction between Free on Board (FOB) shipping point and destination?

    "Free on board (FOB) shipping point" and "free on board destination" are international trade terms that specify where the ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Economics

    The Baltic Dry Index: Evaluating An Economic Recovery

    This index can provide insight into economic growth and production, but it has its critics.
  2. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Benchmark Your Returns With Indexes

    If your portfolio is always falling short, you may not be making an apples-to-apples comparison.
  3. Markets

    A Guide To Conference Board Indicators

    Learn to put the CB data sets to trading use. Each chapter takes you through one of the board's benchmark indicators or surveys, their significance and their applications.
  4. Retirement

    Economic Indicators To Know

    The economy has a large impact on the market. Learn how to interpret the most important reports.
  5. Investing Basics

    What is a Nominal Value?

    The nominal value of a security, such as a stock or bond, remains fixed for the duration of its life.
  6. Economics

    Explaining the Human Development Index

    The Human Development Index (HDI) is a metric developed by the United Nations to take the emphasis off economic growth and focus on human wellbeing.
  7. Economics

    Gaining Market Influence-- The Case of US Shale

    A convergence of sustained bank financing, falling production costs and rising oil prices might position the US shale industry for a greater market role.
  8. Investing

    Why Some Investors Are Tilting Toward TIPS

    Last month’s five-year TIPS auction drew nearly $48 billion in interest, a sign of recent renewed demand for this inflation indexed asset among investors.
  9. Economics

    What is the International Monetary Fund?

    The International Monetary Fund fosters global monetary cooperation and sustainable economic growth.
  10. Economics

    The Pros & Cons of a Trade Deficit

    Is a trade deficit, also known as a current account deficit, beneficial or detrimental to a country's economy?

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Covered Call

    An options strategy whereby an investor holds a long position in an asset and writes (sells) call options on that same asset ...
  2. Butterfly Spread

    A neutral option strategy combining bull and bear spreads. Butterfly spreads use four option contracts with the same expiration ...
  3. Unlevered Beta

    A type of metric that compares the risk of an unlevered company to the risk of the market. The unlevered beta is the beta ...
  4. Moving Average - MA

    A widely used indicator in technical analysis that helps smooth out price action by filtering out the “noise” from random ...
  5. Yield Curve

    A line that plots the interest rates, at a set point in time, of bonds having equal credit quality, but differing maturity ...
  6. Productivity

    An economic measure of output per unit of input. Inputs include labor and capital, while output is typically measured in ...
Trading Center