The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell on Tuesday weighed down by lower rates for capesize vessels.
The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, was down 22 points, or 3.57 percent at 594 points.
The capesize index fell 85 points, or 10.16 percent to 752 points.
"Cape rates continue to slip back on thinner volumes following recent pressure on Chinese steel prices," ship brokerage firm Clarksons Platou Securities said in a note.
Chinese rebar steel futures posted their biggest intraday fall in seven years on Tuesday, as worries about demand in the world's second-biggest economy extended a rout that has spilled over into other industrial raw materials.
Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, decreased $667 to $5,946.
The panamax index slid three points to 581 points.
Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, fell $24 to $4,646.
Among smaller vessels, the handysize index fell three points to 352 points and the supramax index was down eight points at 567 points.
(Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru)