AFP, LONDONSea freight transport, the lifeblood of trade and a bellwether of the global economy, has been blown off course by the COVID-19 outbreak, sparking general alarm. The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) reflects the daily price of moving goods such as coal, rice and wheat along routes deemed representative of the global market. “Given that China accounts for about 40 percent of global seaborne trade, it is not so surprising that freight rates have tanked,” it added. With more than 2,400 death reported from COVID-19 and swathes of the country under effective lockdown for a second month, Chinese demand might suffer for months to come, he said. The price of shipping both commodities is reflected in the BDI index, which is in “free fall,” Capital Economics said.
Source: Taipei Times February 23, 2020 15:56 UTC