Shipping ETF Enjoys Some Smooth Sailing as Economic Activity Picks Up

A global shipping sector-related exchange traded fund is catching a tailwind as economies around the world reopen and begin to resume normal trade.

Among the best performing non-leveraged ETFs of Friday, the Breakwave Dry Bulk Shipping ETF (NYSEArca: BDRY) jumped 6.3%. BDRY has also been outperforming over the past month, jumping 30.5%.

BDRY tries to provide exposure to the daily changes in the price of dry bulk freight futures by tracking a three-month strip of the nearest calendar quarter of futures contracts on specified indexes that measure rates for shipping dry bulk freight.

Capesize carriers shipping iron-ore from Australia and Brazil to China have been steadily rising over the past week as improved market fundamentals like a rebound in marine fuel prices and rising demand for sea vessels helped support the market, according to Mysteel.

“Increasing cargo flow in the Atlantic, mainly ex-Brazil, and stronger freight numbers out of Australia pushed Capesize rates higher over the last few weeks,” according to a recent Breakwave note.

“Capesize rates were at the lowest level ever for this time of the year and remain extremely weak despite the recent 100%+ rally. It is the relative change that looks impressive, but absolute prices remain at depression-like levels… Overall, the direction of spot freight rates is positive, and we expect further gains, though at a more measured pace,” Breakweave added.

According to Wood Mackenzie, Australia’s iron ore and LNG exports to China are up 8% and 9% in 2020, respectively, year-over-year, CNBC reports. Additionally, Chinese imports of Australia coal are “way ahead of where they were before the pandemic.”

A potential downside risk comes from Brazil’s supply side. Brazilian production has been hit by the pandemic, wet weather, and the fallout from a major mining disaster in recent months. Wood Mackenzie expects a 4% fall in Brazilian iron ore exports in 2020, after a 13% on-year decline in 2019. A judge also recently ordered several of Vale’s mines to halt operations after workers tested positive for Coronavirus

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