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Baltic Dry Crashes To New Record Low As China “Demand Is Collapsing”

Baltic Dry Crashes To New Record Low As China “Demand Is Collapsing”

Worst. Ever.

As Bloomberg adds, China, which makes about half the world’s steel, is on track for the biggest drop in output for more than two decades, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence…

Owners are reeling as China’s combined seaborne imports of iron ore and coal — commodities that helped fuel a manufacturing boom — record the first annual declines in at least a decade. While demand next year may be a little better, slower-than-anticipated growth in 2015 has led to almost perpetual disappointment for rates, after analysts’ predictions at the end of 2014 for a rebound proved wrong.

“It doesn’t help that Chinese steel production is about to see the most dramatic decline to the lowest in 20 years,” said Herman Hildan, a shipping-equity analyst at Clarksons Platou Securities in Oslo. “Demand growth is collapsing.”

*  *  *

Sounds like a perfect time to hike rates and exaggerate the deflationary tsunami and monetary outflows from the world’s potentially growing economies.

Despite a brief dead-cat-bounce late November, which Jim Cramer heralded as evidence of stabilization in China, the world’s best known freight index has collapsed to new all-time record lows this morning. Amid a persistent glut of ships and ongoing concerns about Chinese steel imports, The Baltic Dry has tumbled to 471 – the lowest level in at least 30 years.

Biggest Crash In South Korea Exports Since 2009 Confirms Global Trade In Freefall

Biggest Crash In South Korea Exports Since 2009 Confirms Global Trade In Freefall

While the market’s attention overnight was focused on China’s crumbling manufacturing and service PMI, data which was already hinted in the flash PMI reports earlier in August, the real stunner came not from China but from South Korea, which last night reported an unprecedented 14.7% collapse in exports, far worse than the -5.9% consensus estimate, and more than 4 times worse than July’s 3.4%.

The number is critical because not only do exports account for about half of South Korea’s GDP (with Samusng alone anecdotally accountable for 20% of the country’s GDP), but because it also happens to be the first major exporting country to report monthly trade data. That makes it the perfect barometer of global trade flows, or as the case may be, the canary in the global trade coalmine. It also confirms what we reported just one week ago when we said that “Global Trade Is In Freefall“.

The carnage in Korean trade is unmistakable in the following Barclays chart:

Putting South Korea plunging trade in context, this was the worst monthly decline since August 2009, and was coupled by an 18.3% tumble in imports, the biggest drop since February. Worse, South Korea may soon run into a true Black Swan: a trade deficit: in August, the country’s trade surplus tightened to just $4.3 billion, one third worse than tha $6.1 billion expected, and nearly less tthan half the $7.7 billion surplus in July, suggesting South Korea may be forced to dip into its reserves next, or finally engage in what many have said is long overdue: the next Asian currency devaluation as China’s FX war spills over to what may be the most important harbinger of global trade.

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Threat to the Dollar as the World’s Primary Reserve Currency

The Threat to the Dollar as the World’s Premier Reserve Currency

…but does it really matter?

By Patrick Barron

 

My answer is that, “Yes”, it really matters. And that is why we need to take action today to protect all of our interests. The source of the threat may surprise you.

 

We refer to the dollar as a “reserve currency” when referring to its use by other countries when settling their international trade accounts. For example, if Canada buys goods from China, China may prefer to be paid in US dollars rather than Canadian dollars. The US dollar is the more “marketable” money internationally, meaning that most countries will accept it in payment, so China can use its dollars to buy goods from other countries, not solely the US. Such might not be the case with the Canadian dollar, and China would have to hold its Canadian dollars until it found something to buy from Canada. Multiply this scenario by all the countries of the world who print their own money and one can see that without a currency accepted widely in the world, international trade would slow down and become more expensive. Its effect would be similar to that of erecting trade barriers, such as the infamous Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1930 that contributed to the Great Depression. There are many who draw a link between the collapse of international trade and war. The great French economist Frederic Bastiat said that “when goods do not cross borders, soldiers will.” No nation can achieve a decent standard of living with a completely autarkic economy, meaning completely self-sufficient in all things. If it cannot trade for the goods that it needs, it feels forced to invade its neighbors to steal them. Thus, a near universally accepted currency is as vital to world peace as it is to world prosperity.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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