On January 30, 2013, the Baltic Dry Index dropped to 767 points, down 12 points (1.54%) against the level of January 29. BDI is a number issued daily by the London-based Baltic Exchange. Not restricted to Baltic Sea countries, the index provides "an assessment of the price of moving the major raw materials by sea. Taking in 23 shipping routes measured on a timecharter basis, the index covers Handysize, Supramax, Panamax, and Capesize dry bulk carriers carrying a range of commodities including coal, iron ore and grain.
Because dry bulk primarily consists of materials that function as raw material inputs to the production of intermediate or finished goods, the index is also seen as an efficient economic indicator of future economic growth and production. On 20 May 2008, the index reached its record high level since its introduction in 1985, reaching 11,793 points. On 3 February 2012, the index had dropped 647 points, the lowest since 1986.