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The Baltic Dry Index – which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels that ferry dry bulk commodities – is down a staggering 78 percent from highs in September, as noted by Jeroen Blokland, Portfolio Manager for the Robeco Multi-Asset funds, Robeco ONE and Robeco Pension Return Portfolio.

Analysts are associating the relentless slide with an end to front-loading, triggering by easing of US-China trade tensions. The two sides signed the phase-one trade deal, which had been doing the rounds since the beginning of the final quarter of 2019. 

The index, however, is considered a valuable indicator of the stage of the global economy. The steep slide, therefore, is also being viewed as a sign of a global economic slowdown.