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Hurricane Irma impact uncertainty slows Rotterdam bunker fuel trading

The Rotterdam bunker fuel market began the week tentatively as traders were uncertain about Hurricane Irma’s impact on US demand.

“People are waiting to see the consequences of Hurricane Irma which [delayed] the usual Monday activity,” a buyer said.

Bunker prices fell Monday as both ICE Brent and gasoil futures weakened, and the market considers there could be further price tumbles over the week as the storms continue to hit US demand.

“The American market still rules the roost…demand is petering out for both fuel oil and marine gasoil,” the buyer added.

Florida has taken the brunt of Hurricane Irma and is typically a hub for bunker fuel demand from both Europe and the US.

“In the gasoil market WTI is weak and Florida is a demand center as they have zero refineries. Now that Florida is down there is no demand,” a bunker trader said.

However, last Friday the US Administration waived the Jones Act for one week allowing non-US-flagged tankers, usually not permitted to participate in the intra-US product flow, to shift petroleum products and boost fuel availability to support the recovery process.

“The waivers in the Jones Act doesn’t help marine gasoil,” the trader added.
Source: Platts

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