Singapore marine fuel sales hit 22-month high in Nov

The higher sales came despite lower vessel arrivals for bunkering at Singapore. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - Marine fuel sales in Singapore jumped to a 22-month high in November, the latest official data showed on Tuesday, as lower prices lifted buying interest at the world’s largest bunkering hub.

November bunker sales totalled 4.37 million tonnes, climbing 3 per cent month on month and up 4 per cent year on year, data from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore showed.

The higher sales came despite lower vessel arrivals for bunkering at Singapore that dipped by 4 per cent month on month at 3,299 vessel calls, although they edged higher by 3 per cent year on year.

Marine fuel prices fell month on month in November, and this incentivised some shippers to agree to deals for bigger-volume stems, bunker fuel traders said.

“Lower cargo prices might have incentivised some bigger purchases for storage as inventory on the ships’ tanks,” said a bunkering manager who trades in the Singapore marine fuel market.

Total sales of low-sulphur marine fuel oil in Singapore gained 6 per cent from the previous month to 2.75 million tonnes, even as total sales of high-sulphur marine fuel oil dipped 5 per cent to 1.25 million tonnes in November.

“Vessels without scrubbers opportunistically increased bunker purchase volumes in the last month due to lower delivered prices,” said Mr Ivan Mathews, head of FGE’s Asia refining and global fuel oil service.

He added that low-sulphur marine fuel sales could extend their climb this month as prices in Singapore also appeared to be more competitive, compared with those at other regional ports like Zhoushan.

Bunker fuel prices for 0.5 per cent low-sulphur fuel oil on a delivered basis trended lower in November after upstream crude oil prices fell. REUTERS

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