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Singapore’s Aug bunker fuel sales fall 7% to 3.67 mil mt

Singapore’s bunker fuel sales in August fell 7% on the year to 3.67 million mt, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore data released Friday showed.

Record-high bunker premiums in August have deterred buying interest to some extent with most shippers taking only the volumes that they require, Singapore bunker market sources said.

“Some ships have gone over to other ports like Fujairah which has much more attractive [buying] price compared to Singapore,” a bunker trader said.

Fujairah delivered 380 CST bunker prices averaged $11/mt below Singapore prices in H1 August and $26/mt below Singapore prices in H2 August, S&P Global Platts data showed. The spread has since widened to an average of minus $41/mt in September so far.

The Singapore delivered 380 CST bunker fuel premium over the Mean of Platts Singapore 380 CST high sulfur fuel oil has firmed in August, hitting a record high of $67.11/mt on September 5, 2019, Platts data showed.

Others attributed the decline in bunker volumes to tight supply rather than a drastic fall in demand. The number of arrivals for bunkering at Singapore in August was higher on the year by 9.4% to 3,423, according to the MPA data.

“The premium is one factor but I think in general the supply is tight for both logisitics and cargo…we just simply have not enough supply,” another bunker trader said.

Shipowners were also not keen to procure incremental HSFO volume going into IMO 2020, which will limit the sulfur content for marine fuels to 0.5% from January 2020.

“That [record-high premiums] could be [a factor] and then also because we don’t want to fill up 380 CST [HSFO volumes] before 2020,” a shipowner said, referring to the overall drop in August bunker volumes.

The 380 CST HSFO currently remains the mainstay fuel for bunkering before more shippers switch to LSFO going into the end of the year, sources added.
Source: Platts

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