The crude tanker spot market ended another week that continued a dismal start to the year.

Suezmaxes limped into Friday, losing the gains they had made earlier in the month, while VLCCs remained mostly flat from 13 January, according to the Baltic Exchange.

Average suezmax spot rates, which had rallied from nearly $62,100 per day on 9 January to almost $93,500 per day on Monday, slipped to about $83,600 per day on Friday. That marked a one-week decline of about 10.5%.

Shipbroker Howe Robinson attributed the slump to a lack of activity.

“Some more resistance seen in the Atlantic to close out the week, with some more questions beginning to be asked and a tighter list. However, VLCCs continue to loom in the background,” the broker said on Friday, noting that suezmax rates were down across the board from a week ago.

“The Mediterranean has remained quiet this week, with only some under the radar activity to report out of the Black Sea. Similarly, little to report out of the [Middle East] where we have seen some downward pressure this week as a result.”

The Baltic Exchange and Howe Robinson described the VLCC market as mixed this week.

The Baltic Exchange time charter equivalent assessment fell over the course of the week from just under $13,000 per day last Friday to end at about $11,700 per day.

They said VLCCs heading to China from the Middle East and West Africa saw jumps. Only the US Gulf Coast to China route declined.

The Baltic Exchange said rates on the route from the Middle East to China jumped to $18,300 per day from $17,100 per day over the week.

Howe Robinson assessed the rate higher, with a rise from $19,400 per day to $22,400 per day.

Rates for a VLCC from West Africa to China were assessed by the Baltic Exchange to have risen nearly $2,000 over the week to $24,300 per day. Howe Robinson showed the decline at just under $700 to $29,400 per day.

Euronav’s Antigone scored a charter in the rising trade from the Middle East to India.

That was seen in Bharat Petroleum’s Friday fixture of the 299,400-dwt Antigone (built 2015), which trades in the Tankers International pool.

The ship, which has no scrubber, was chartered at $5.5m for a journey from West Africa to the west coast of India.

That is up from the last-done spot charter on the route on Tuesday at $4.4m on another scrubber-free ship, despite a larger cargo stem, according to the pool operator.

The drop on the US Gulf Coast to China route was more pronounced than the gains on the other two benchmark trades, however.

Rates on that route fell $4,400 over the course of the week to $28,100 per day on Friday, according to the Baltic Exchange. Howe Robinson showed a drop of $5,700 to $30,870 per day over the seven days.

Aframaxes remained a bright spot for the market, tipping up on Friday to finish the week $1,000 higher at $69,100 per day, according to the Baltic Exchange’s TCE assessment.

Eric Priante Martin contributed to this story