The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, fell on Wednesday for the first time in five weeks, hurt by lower rates for capesize and panamax vessels.
The index, which has tumbled about 17 percent so far this year, have been recording gains for the past 23 consecutive sessions since Feb. 11.
The dry bulk market is expected to remain under pressure for longer because of weak demand for commodities, particularly from top global importer China.
The overall index that factors in the rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, slipped three points to 393 points.
The capesize index fell 14 points, or 7.53 percent, to 172 points.
Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were down $177 to $2,034.
The panamax index slipped seven points, or 1.46 percent to 474 points.
Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes, fell $51 to $3,808.
However, among smaller vessels, the supramax index rose seven points to 439 points, while the handysize index was up two points at 257 points.
Reporting by Kevin Jose