The effects of geopolitical risk and economic policy uncertainty on dry bulk shipping freight rates
We examine the effects of geopolitical risk (GPR) and economic policy uncertainty (EPU) on shipping freight rates using a Bayesian VAR model. A positive shock to global GPR has an immediate positive, but gradually diminishing, effect on dry bulk shipping freight rates. This effect is driven by global rather than country-specific GPR shocks. Positive shocks to EPU indices for the U.S., Brazil, and China trigger a negative response of dry bulk shipping freight rates that builds gradually over several months. Historical cumulative effects of both GPR and EPU shocks on freight rates can be large and of different signs during different subperiods. Our results are important for both shipowners and charterers when fixing chartering strategies and prioritizing investments in newbuilding or second-hand vessels.