Rating agency Moody’s (MOC.NYSE) said on Monday that a payment dispute centered on China Cosco Holdings (601919.SH, 19191.HK), China’s largest shipping company, could reduce payments to other shipowners, thereby hurting their creditworthiness, the Wall Street Journal reported. Cosco is attempting to renegotiate payment contracts made before a recent fall in shipping prices. Charter rates for the largest dry-bulk ships, which carry commodities like coal, iron ore and grain, have plunged to as low as US$16,000 a day from around US$230,000 a day in 2008 as economies around the world have slowed. “Renegotiation of contracts could set a precedent that spurs other Chinese shipping companies to seek more favorable terms in their existing agreements,” Moody’s said in a weekly credit report. In recent weeks, some shipowners have obtained court orders to seize vessels operated by China Cosco after the company halted payments. China Cosco President Zhang Liang said on Friday that the seizures had not affected the company’s operations, and that Cosco had negotiated new agreements with ship owners for 18 such contracts.