Spot rates for VLCCs increased sharply this week in the latest sign of the beleaguered sector emerging from the doldrums of the pandemic.

Broker Howe Robinson reported time charter equivalent rates topping $40,000 per day for eco-designed ships on three key routes, up from $22,000 to $27,000 a week earlier.

The Baltic Exchange’s VLCC TCE weighted average was also up sharply to $13,150 per day on Tuesday, just 11 days after rising above zero for the first time in 19 months.