World Perspectives

BDI is Fishy

As fear of the coronavirus causes money to rush out of equities and commodities, why are bulk shipping rates rising? The transportation segment is complex. Airlines are forecast to take a $100 billion dollar hit this year as their traffic drops, but trucking keeps trucking along. The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) measuring bulk cargo shipping rates hit a peak in September 2019 and then slid lower, until now.  The price of oil, a key ingredient in global shipping, is at a 12-month low. There is no competition from cruise ships for bunker fuel because they are being idled. Yet after hitting a low of 411 on 10 February, the BDI has been rising, hitting 599 yesterday. The industry says it is because of improved supply/demand balances. Iron ore...

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Illuminating the value of technical research

On behalf of a commodity producer organization, WPI evaluated the outputs from a project that featured a $5 million investment into technical research over multiple years. WPI’s team captured the results of this extensive effort and synthesized them for presentation to the organization’s governing board; among the findings uncovered and presented for the first time was the development of genomic traits proven, via rigorous testing, to provide crop yield advantages of 50 percent or more to U.S. farmers in times of drought. Capturing measurable results from long-term efforts can be challenging. Educating clients on the dynamics of success measurement when quantifiable results are not readily available requires deep client-consultant collaboration and an ability to consider both near- and long-term client aspirations with market/policy dynamics – attributes that WPI brings to every consulting engagement.

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