The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities fell on Wednesday as demand for nearly all vessel sizes weakened.
The overall index, which gauges the cost of shipping cargoes including iron ore, cement, grain, coal and fertiliser, slipped 5 points, or 0.91 percent, to 546 points. The Baltic index is seen by investors as an indicator of global industrial activity.
The capesize index fell 13 points, or 1.49 percent, to 857 points as average daily earnings for capesize vessels fell $123 to $7,486. Capesizes typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal.
The panamax index, for ships that usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, dropped eight points, or 1.9 percent, to 412 points. Average daily earnings for panamaxes fell $65 to $3,295.
Among smaller vessels, the handysize index remained unchanged at 286 points, and the supramax index fell one point to 460 points.