Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Shorts Are Comming

A different kind of short. (Hat tip Matt) As reported earlier tightening credit markets threaten to wreak havoc on on world trade. Bloomberg's Chan Sue Ling reports that Hong Kongs biggest try bulk carrier Pacific Basin Shipping Ltd. is having trouble moving it's shipments due to lack of credit availablility.

The Baltic Dry Index dropped 8.5 percent to 1,809 points yesterday, the lowest since August 2005. Pacific Basin dropped 6.5 percent to HK$4.75 in Hong Kong and Precious Shipping declined 5.5 percent to 12.1 baht in Bangkok.

Banks worldwide have curbed lending because of increased concerns about getting their money back. Shipowners are already struggling to obtain funding for new vessels. Precious Shipping took as long as 15 months to secure financing for 18 vessels it has on order, Hashim said.

Why is this important?

This is important because it could mean significant shortages of imported goods. Areas that rely on a significant amount of food imports could see strong price increases as supplies are depleted.

It will bring about a significant slow down in international trade. Goods traveling over-seas won't make it here, or anywhere. This will mean a reduction in the supply of available imports.

Retailers in this country could see this affecting their ability to provide products for sale during the holiday season.

As Matt pointed out to me the effects won't be noticed for some time, as things slow down and as it takes some time for the consumer at the end of the chain to notice a problem in a supply chain.

It could be weeks before we see a problem in our local supermarkets and stores if it comes to that.

I would assume eventually demand would go up enough that someone would work to finance the shipments, but in the meant time this could have many troubling effects.

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