An unusual energy flowed through last week’s Capital Link New York Maritime Forum. Call it genuine optimism.

In the wake of reports of fixtures at $300,000 per day for VLCCs and a rising product tanker market chasing crude rates up the ­ladder, at least the tanker crowd — especially the tanker crowd — were feeling the momentum inside Manhattan’s Metropolitan Club.

Where manufactured enthusiasm had been the best that most could manage amid a multi-year rates slump last time around, there were broader smiles, sharper backslaps, heart­ier handshakes and bouncier footsteps inside the private club.