Marine fuel sales drop as bunker calls hit 4-year low

Marine fuel sales here fell to a 15-month low last month as the number of ships calling at local ports sank to a near four-year low.

The September volumes were down 7 per cent from last year and 3 per cent lower than August, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore noted on Monday.

Vessel arrivals at Singapore, the world's largest bunkering hub, fell to 3,098 last month, the lowest since February 2018.

Singapore is facing competition from China as the dominant marine fuel supplier in Asia, Bloomberg reported in July.

This comes as China's marine fuel sales have almost doubled over the past five years, servicing ships headed for ports in South Korea and Japan.

The bunkering sector is valued at more than US$30 billion (S$40.6 billion) in Asia.

Competitive marine fuel pricing from suppliers in China, congestion at key global ports and soaring freight rates across some shipping segments contributed to Singapore's lower bunkering traffic, trade sources said.

Global container shipping problems related to post-Covid-19 logistics problems have intensified in the third quarter and show no sign of letting up.

The lower bunker volumes were caused by a drop in sales of both low-and high-sulphur marine fuels.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 14, 2021, with the headline 'Marine fuel sales drop as bunker calls hit 4-year low'. Subscribe