Rising VLCC rates and a busy Atlantic market have helped push suezmax rates upward.

The Baltic Exchange’s suezmax time charter equivalent assessment jumped from $66,605 per day last week to $75,393 per day on Friday, after dipping to $65,944 per day on Monday.

The increase came as brokers reported more activity all across the globe.

“Activity has improved in the [Middle East] for suezmaxes alongside a firming VLCC market, as such owner opportunities have grown, and charterers are likely to find them far less malleable,” Gibson Shipbrokers said in its weekly report.

It said rates for a ship sailing from the Middle East to the west hit Worldscale 72.5, while ships headed east are earning WS 155.

Throughout the week, Howe Robinson described a busy market in the Atlantic, with the tonnage list tightening in the run up to Friday, with inquiries in West Africa picking up midweek.

The broker had a suezmax sailing from the Bonny Offshore oil terminal in Nigeria to Rotterdam rising from $55,246 per day on 10 March to $72,541 per day on Friday.

Last month, brokers suggested VLCCs were muscling in on smaller tanker trades as the largest tankers were earning paltry amounts.

But VLCC rates have rallied in recent weeks, with fixtures regularly reported above $100,000 per day.

Last Friday, Norwegian shipbroker Lorentzen & Co said the jump in VLCC rates would likely trickle down to suezmaxes and aframaxes as charterers have to look for other ships with VLCCs headed to China.