The Baltic shipping index may have slipped from its highs, but commodity prices show no signs of weakness. That suggests that weakness in the Baltic index is primarily due to additional shipping capacity coming on line, and not to any drop in the demand for commodities. The index in this chart is one of the best, as it does not include energy and contains a lot of commodities that are do not have futures markets attached to them, so speculative activity and volatile oil prices are not likely to distort it. It's just full of the basic stuff that goes into a lot of manufactured products. It's up 28% from its lows of last December, and is within inches of its highest level this year, which occurred August 13th. In my view, strong commodity price gains continue to reflect not only an ongoing pickup in global economic activity, but also the effects of accommodative monetary policy.