The Baltic Dry Index is generally considered the benchmark for the price of moving major raw materials by sea. With today's gain of 0.4%, the index is currently riding a 19-day winning streak where it has gained 25%. Yet, even after accounting for this winning streak the index is still down 49% YTD.
From a longer-term persepctive, it has been a rocky twelve years for the Baltic Dry Index. From the start of 2000 through its peak in May 2008, the index rallied 793%. Then, the global financial crisis arrived, and shipping rates vaporized. Since its peak of 11,793 back on 5/20/08, the Baltic Dry Index has declined 93%!