NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Idle ships are sinking the Claymore/Delta Global Shipping ETF ( SEA), a fund that tracks companies within the global maritime shipping industry. While demand for some types of vessels remains strong, the companies which comprise SEA's portfolio own and contract a broad range of ships, making the fund vulnerable to the recent draught. Companies at the top of SEA's roster, like Seaspan ( SSW), Teekay Tank ( TNK), General Maritime ( GMR) and Euronav ( EURN), face a difficult climate in the wake of the global economic crisis as ready fleets outstrip demand in many sections of the industry. SEA's underlying portfolio includes shipping companies that derive more than 80% of their revenues from one of the following segments of the shipping industry: the seaborne transport of dry bulk goods and the leasing and/or operating of tanker ships, container ships, specialty chemical ships and ships that transport liquid natural gas or dry bulk goods. Strong demand for raw materials like steel has helped to keep bulk ships busy, but a drop in buyers of finished goods is keeping container ships stuck in harbors. According to a recent New York Times article, one tenth of the world's container ships are estimated to be idle. Empty ships are clogging international ports as commercial vessels sit idle -- a trend that has not been missed by industry insiders. A recent report from the Baltic and International Maritime Council, an independent international shipping association, noted that, "the sheer number of ships currently swinging around their anchors either waiting to load or discharge throughout the month of January has been exceptional."
In trading on Monday, shares of the Guggenheim Shipping ETF entered into oversold territory, changing hands as low as $17.9001 per share. We define oversold territory using the Relative Strength Index, or RSI, which is a technical analysis indicator used to measure momentum on a scale of zero to 100.
Looking today at week-over-week shares outstanding changes among the universe of ETFs covered at ETF Channel, one standout is the Guggenheim Shipping ETF where we have detected an approximate $43.4 million dollar outflow -- that's a 37.7% decrease week over week (from 6,100,000 to 3,800,000). Among the largest underlying components of SEA, in trading today Matson Inc is off about 0.4%, Teekay Corp is up about 0.4%, and Teekay LNG Partners LP is lower by about 0.1%.