“There aren’t enough new cars,” read the title of a recent Bloomberg report. Auto factories haven’t been able to keep up with the rebound in consumer demand.
It’s a sentiment other manufacturing industries are echoing as well.
That’s because of a double-whammy impact.
First, the pandemic shuttered plants and wreaked havoc on supply chains across the world. That depleted inventories of various goods like cars, smartphones … even washing machines and refrigerators.
Now there’s a wave of pent-up demand being unleashed across the globe.
Thanks to this combination of low inventories and rising demand, global trade is surging.
For example, just the Port of Los Angeles saw record import volumes during October … 29% higher than a year ago.
Other metrics linked to global trade are also rocketing higher.
Shipping giant Maersk (OTC: AMKBY) reported a 4.4% gain in average freight rates this past quarter relative to last year. Seems like a small number, doesn’t it? But that percentage helped drive an 83% increase in the company’s quarterly profit.
Also in high demand are things that help move goods, as Ted talked about yesterday in his email to you and in the January 2021 Bauman Letter report, we show readers a unique way to position themselves for profits from this trend … click here to learn how you can read the January issue of The Bauman Letter.
In the U.S., orders for big rig Class 8 trucks rose to nearly 52,000 units during November. That’s 197% higher than a year ago!
Lesser-known corners of the network that facilitate global trade have seen a dramatic rise as well … like the cost of containers.
Just when you thought tech stocks were this years’ big winners, consider the price to ship a container from China to the U.S. East Coast.
It now stands at $4,960.
That’s the highest on record … up 90% since the start of the year … more than twice the return of the Nasdaq 100 Index.
See this craziness for yourself in the chart below.
The big question is: Will this trade boom continue?
After all, the inventory restocking boost will eventually run its course.
The good news is there are several strong tailwinds to keep global trade buoyant well into 2021.
Here’s a particularly strong one.
Trillions More in Stimulus Spending
As a second wave of COVID-19 hammers the world, governments are deploying massive amounts of stimulus:
- Japan recently approved $700 billion in its third round of stimulus just this year.
- The European Union recently passed a $2.2 trillion budget that contains additional stimulus funds.
- The European Central Bank is expanding its bond-buying program by $600 billion in a bid to keep interest rates low and boost the economy.
The U.S. contribution to more stimulus is still undecided.
Regardless, consumer forces and massive amounts of stimulus spending will keep the global trade pipes flowing well into 2021.
One way you can profit from this trend is with export-driven countries and companies held in the Vanguard FTSE Pacific ETF (NYSE: VPL).
Another is the unusual investment opportunity Ted and I presented to The Bauman Letter subscribers. You can find more information about accessing that report here.
Research Analyst, The Bauman Letter