Freight ETFs Smashed S&P 500 in December Returns

BDRY as well as solar ETF RAYS were best December performers, as China ETFs also gained.

Finance Reporter
Reviewed by: Ron Day
Edited by: Staff

As the stock market took a positive turn in the second half of 2023, ETFs saw an overall solid improvement in performance. In December, an eclectic group of funds were the top performers, including the $51 million Breakwave Dry Bulk Shipping ETF (BDRY), which offers investors exposures to freight futures, and the Global X Solar ETF (RAYS). 

With BDRY and RAYS climbing 7.18% and 4.61%, respectively, the second top performing fund only narrowly beat the S&P 500, which was up 4.42% in December, which brough its yearly 2023 returns to 24.23%. The ETFs in this chart do not include leverage/inverse funds or ETFs with less than 1,000 shares traded.

Top 10 Weekly Performers, Excluding Leverage/Inverse Funds and <1,000 Shares Traded

TickerNameWeekly PerformanceWeekly VolumeAUM ($, mm)
BDRYBreakwave Dry Bulk Shipping ETF7.18%589,67061.11%
RAYSGlobal X Solar ETF4.61%11,3457.12%
CNXTVanEck ChiNext ETF4.39%69,20817.22%
KGRNKraneShares MSCI China Clean Technology Index ETF4.36%34,01866.91%
CANETeucrium Sugar Fund4.28%131,89117.73%
UNGUnited States Natural Gas Fund LP3.84%41,306,751973.83%
KBUYKraneShares CICC China Consumer Leaders Index ETF3.80%6,2804.38%
KBAKraneShares Bosera MSCI China A 50 Connect Index ETF3.30%244,857280.23%
KFVGKraneShares CICC China 5G & Semiconductor Index ETF3.16%6,57011.18%
MCHMatthews China Active ETF3.11%160,59721.66%


Disclaimer: All data as of 6 a.m. Eastern time the date the article is published. Data is believed to be accurate; however, transient market data is often subject to subsequent revision and correction by the exchanges.

Lucy Brewster is a finance reporter at covering asset managers, emerging technologies, and regulation. She hosts webinars and appears on Exchange Traded Fridays,’s flagship podcast. She previously was a finance fellow at Fortune Magazine where she covered markets, investment strategy, and venture capital. She has also been a freelancer writer at the publication Mergers & Acquisitions and a research fellow at the Historic Hudson Valley. 

She graduated from Vassar College in 2022 with a degree in History and was an editor of The Miscellany News, the college's award winning student run newspaper. 

Lucy lives in Brooklyn, NY, and in her free time she loves to run and find new recipes to cook.