Stefka Wechsler of the global energy and commodity price reporting agency Argus Media on Wednesday (27 May) published a report on the sizable upswing in Argentinian VLSFO sales since the IMO 2020 sulphur limit came into effect:
Argentinian very low-sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) sales rose by 86% in the first quarter, driven by the 2020 global marine fuel sulphur regulation according to Argentina’s Petroleum and Gas Institute.
Sales reached 319,374t in the quarter ended 31 March, compared with 171,714t during the same period in 2019.
Argentinian residual fuel oil is produced locally from sweet Argentinian crude and meets the 0.5% sulphur limit set for marine fuel burned in international waters by the International Maritime Organization starting on 1 January. The fuel does not need to be blended or desulphurized.
Shell sold 98,987t of residual fuel oil for bunkering in Argentina in the first quarter, Trafigura sold 87,677t, YPF sold 80,593t and Pan American Energy sold 52,117t.
Buenos Aires is the biggest bunkering port in Argentina. Buenos Aires’ biggest competitors are the ports of Santos and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Buenos Aires VLSFO retail bunkers are not the most price competitive in Latin America. For the period 1-26 May Argus VLSFO assessments showed the Buenos Aires – Santos premium averaged at $41/t and the Buenos Aires – Rio de Janeiro premium averaged at $16/t.
Argentina’s marine gasoil (MGO) sales were also up by 47% to 183,441m3 (about 162,340t) in the first quarter compared with the same period last year. YPF sold 66% of this quantity, Pan American Energy sold 27% and Shell sold 7%.
Exports down and destinations shift
Argentinian VLSFO production was up by 8.7% or 54,295t to 678,293t in the first quarter compared with the first quarter of 2019. But with domestic VLSFO bunker demand up by 147,660t for the quarter, the country’s VLSFO exports declined.
Argentina’s VLSFO exports to the US east coast were down, data from oil analytics firm Vortexa showed. But Argentina exported over 70,000t to Panama and over 108,800t to the Netherlands in the first five months of the year, compared with no exports to these locations for calendar 2019 and 2018. Panama is the biggest bunkering hub in the Caribbean and Central America and Rotterdam, the Netherlands is the biggest bunkering port in Europe.
Photo credit and source: Argus Media
Published: 28 May, 2020
‘We intend to expand our product portfolio to include VLSFO bunker deliveries at a later stage; after investments into the MGO bunkering segment have been complete,’ Director tells Manifold Times.
Fast Energy Sdn Bhd is currently exploring collaboration with a major Malaysian bunker supply firm operating at Port Klang; the operation will be supported by CCK Petroleum upon finalisation.
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All bunker vessels that have received the necessary clearance for out of port bunkering operations may do so at the stated Tompok Utara coordinates only or risk penalty, according to the MMEA.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve and MPA is working closely with other agencies to monitor the situation, both globally and in Singapore, the port authority tells Manifold Times.