The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell nearly 5 percent on Wednesday to its lowest in over five months due to tumbling capesize rates.
The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, slid 57 points, or 4.7 percent, to close at 1,164 points, the lowest since Aug. 14.
The capesize index fell 267 points, or 13.28 percent to 1,743 points, its lowest level since Aug. 9 last year.
"With limited fresh activity in the Capesize dry bulk market, earnings continue to slide lower thus far into the week," Clarksons Platou Securities analysts said in a note.
Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, fell $1,983 to a more-than-five-month-low of $13,175.
The panamax index eased by 12 points, or 0.9 percent, to end at 1,317 points.
Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, eased $93 to $10,565.
Among smaller vessels, the supramax index remained flat at 910 points, while the handysize index shed 2 points to 581 points.
(Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)