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Dry Bulk Shipping ETF is Stock Market’s Top Performer in First Quarter of 2021

Mike Schuler
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April 12, 2021

A dry bulk shipping exchange traded fund (ETF) has emerged as the top performing ETF in the first three months of 2021, reflecting a strong turnaround for the dry bulk sector.

According to ETF.com, the Breakwave Dry Bulk Shipping ETF (BDRY) returned almost 120% in the first quarter, eclipsing the second best-performing ETF, Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF (CNBS), which returned 66%.

Provided by New York-based Breakwave Advisors, LLC, Breakwave Dry Bulk Shipping ETF “provides long exposure to the dry bulk shipping market through a portfolio of near-dated freight futures contracts on dry bulk indices.”

The ETF was launched in March 2018 and had net assets under management (AUM) of a little over $46 million as of April 10, 2021.

It is touted as the first and only freight futures exchange-traded product exclusively focusing on dry bulk shipping.

ETF.com notes that BDRY benefitted from “soaring shipping rates” in the first quarter, yet it “hasn’t really benefited from the Suez Canal” blockage, having hit its 52-week of $20.84 on March 18 and “has been range-bound ever since.”

Jeffrey Landsberg, Managing Director at Commodore Research & Consultancy, notes that dry bulk rates so far this year have far exceeded expectations.

“Expectations at the start of this year for dry bulk rates were far too low.  Rates have not only exceeded those expectations — they have far exceeded them. Dry bulk demand has been very strong this year, and dry bulk fleet growth has continued to slow,” said Landsberg.

On Monday, the Baltic dry index, which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, rose 2.9% to reach 2,145 points, its highest level since March 29, 2021.

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