Japan’s bunkering operations mostly unaffected by recent floods
Bunker operations was hardly affected by heavy rains in West Japan which had caused flooding and landslides last week, market sources said.
Since last Thursday, parts of western Japan have received three times the usual amount of rainfall for the whole of July. The affected areas included Tokai, Kinki, Chugoku, Shikoku and Kyushu Hokubu.
As vessels were not able to berth over the weekend, barge deliveries were slightly tighter this week as shippers look to fulfil delayed orders.
“Due to heavy rains, [bunkering] has been delayed. So, we are now adjusting the bunkering schedule,” a trader said.
Operations at ports in western Japan was slightly hampered early this week, but has since returned to normal.
“Tokyo bay and Osaka are not affected; mainly, Setouchi area is affected but [bunkering] has already re-started there,” the trader added.
Still, there has been no significant impact on bunkering operations or refineries, even as the situation is being closely monitored, industry sources said.
“Yes, heavy flooding is a big issue in Japan, but the damage [to bunker infrastructure] isn’t so big,” a trader said.
“While there have been some delays for our customers’ vessels, fortunately bunker loading from our refineries are not affected,” a supplier said.
Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in a press briefing that the bulk of the impact was on inland truck terminals for oil products, and that they did not receive any reported seaborne impact from the floods.
S&P Global Platts assessed bunker fuel for delivery at the Tokyo/Yokohama Bay area as well as West Japan, which reflects bunker fuel delivered in Setouchi, Kyushu, and Hanshin areas.
At the Asian close Tuesday, Platts assessed 380 CST bunker fuel for delivery at Tokyo Bay and West Japan unchanged day on day at $487/mt and $492/mt respectively.