Singapore Sep bunker demand likely to rebound from Aug: sources
Singapore delivered bunker fuel demand is expected to see an uptick in September, compared with August when some shipowners opted to take their bunker fuel at other ports due to fuel quality concerns, market sources said this week.
August bunker fuel sales in Singapore had dipped 9.2% year on year to 3.96 million mt, and were down 1.8% from 4.04 million mt in July, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore data showed.
“It has definitely picked up more this month, our September inquiries are around 10% more compared to what we got in August,” a Singapore bunker supplier said.
A wave of fuel quality concerns on US origin cargoes had dampened demand in August, with ships diverted away from Singapore to other ports, market sources said.
“Premiums at ports like South Korea were much higher but still, people were willing to take some small volumes there to avoid the risk [at Singapore],” a fuel oil and bunker trader said.
“Some ships were considering safer ports like Japan and Korea in August, even though prices are much higher there… though I think it is just a temporary solution,” another bunker trader said.
Demand in the Middle Eastern port of Fujairah had also been upbeat in August, with some sources attributing this to quality concerns at the Singapore port.
The Singapore bunker fuel price was also above that of Fujairah’s during the first three weeks of August, Platts data showed.
While there were no new September off-specification cases in Singapore, sentiment was still likely to remain cautious going forward.
“September still seems slow even though there is some improvement in inquiries… people are generally cautious and taking volumes based only on what they need,” another Singapore bunker supplier said.
Singapore is the world’s largest bunkering port.