A string of fixtures for cargo liftings in West Africa and the Middle East today pushed VLCC spot rates higher.

Data from Howe Robinson showed the average time-charter equivalent rate for the large tankers  jumped 10.6% to $20,000 per day, up from yesterday's $18,000 per day.

The shipbroker's daily report said the rise shows that owners' increased resilience is paying off.

'Sustained enquiry'

"Today has seen sustained enquiry in the Middle East Gulf and rates have been pushing up accordingly," Howe Robinson said.