Global Economy’s Rebound May Extend Shipping Boom Into 2022



Brendan Murray | Bloomberg

The price of coal has jumped from a year ago, lumber futures have tripled to a new record, steel has been on a roll, and corn and soybeans have staged their own rallies during the pandemic.

Commodities traded in global markets have been on a tear, which means no rest for the ships needed to transport raw materials. The cost of hauling them has jumped more than 50% this year, fueled first by a manufacturing rebound in China and now accelerating elsewhere as countries rebuild stockpiles depleted during lockdowns.

The rally isn’t over, analysts said. Freight rates to carry boatloads of commodities like grains, iron ore and coal — known as dry bulk — are expected to remain high this year and possibly into 2022, according to a report Wednesday from Bloomberg’s Isis Almeida, Rachel Graham and Annie Lee.

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