A two-fold increase in shipping rates has boosted oil tanker demand, lifting prices to a nine-month high.

Last week, the price of a five-year very large crude carrier (VLCC) rose to $82.7m, representing the highest price since 20 July 2009, and a rebound from the low of $77.1m on 14 December 2009, according to Bloomberg.

The price of a five-year Aframax rose to $41.79m, the highest level since 26 May 2009.

Average VLCC shipping rates increased to $37,500-a-day in 2010 from $14,760 in the last quarter of 2009.

VLCCs can carry over 1.46 million barrels of crude oil while Aframax ships have the capacity to carry up to 876,000 barrels.