2012-10-08 - The cost of a strong dollar and weak demand

2012-10-08 - The cost of a strong dollar and weak demand -...

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The cost of a strong dollar and weak demand By Barrie McKenna October 8, 2012 – The Globe and Mail Few people had ever heard of the Baltic Dry Index before the 2008 financial crisis, when it became a scary barometer of a global econ- omy hitting the skids. The index tracks changes in the cost of ship- ping bulk commodities such as metals, grains and crude oil by sea. The index falls when shippers aren’t shipping, and between May and December of 2008, the BDI crashed 94 per cent. So how is it doing this year amid renewed fears about the global economy? Not good. The index is down more than 55 per cent so far this year as too much capacity chases too little traffic. This week investors will get a snapshot of how Canada is fairing in global trade, with Thursday’s release of merchandise trade fig- ures for August. Also on tap this week are trade figures for several of the world’s other major trading countries – Germany (today), Japan (Tuesday) and the United States (Thursday). All four
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