Erik Hoffmann of global energy and commodity price reporting agency Argus Media on Thursday (14 May) published an article on the IEA’s predictions of the bunker fuel market in view of global lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic:
Global bunker demand will fall by 8% year on year in the second quarter as Covid-19 related lockdowns result in fewer trade movements and almost no passenger travel, according to the IEA.
The Paris-based agency forecasts demand from cruise ships will fall by 90%, from container ships by 12%, and from dry bulkers by 2%. It forecasts demand from oil and chemical tankers will be broadly unchanged.
The IEA said demand from all vessel types will drop by 5% this year, with 6% and 3% year-on-year falls in the third and fourth quarters.
Cruise ships account for only around 6% of global bunker demand, but the sector was hardest hit by Covid-19 lockdowns. Three of the biggest cruise lines took their ships out of operation in March for around 30 days. This weighed on high-sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) demand in particular, as about 40-65% of cruise ships are fitted with exhaust scrubbers.
The IEA said the cruise industry will recover marginally in the third quarter, when bunker demand from the sector will be down by around 83% from a year earlier. The drop will be 60% in the fourth quarter.
Demand from container ships, which burn 14% of bunker fuels according to the IEA, will also recover in the third and fourth quarter to drops of 8% and 4%, respectively. Container ships have increasingly sailed with empty containers since parts of China started to lock down from late January, and the rest of the world from mid-March. Some voyages have also been cancelled, and some ports skipped.
Shipping association Bimco said 2.2mn twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) were idle in April, around 9% of the global fleet. Maersk, the world’s biggest bunker consumer, said its fuel consumption fell by 7.4% on the year in the first quarter.
Demand for dry bulk ships, which make up 29% of global bunker demand, have also been under pressure from the global economic slowdown. The IEA expects the 2% year-on year bunker demand drop from sector to continue in the third quarter, and then recover in the fourth quarter to the same level as a year before.
The IEA expects bunker demand from oil and chemical tankers, which make up 21% of global consumption, to be flat in the second, third and fourth quarters. Crude oil and products tanker demand rose in April, largely because of demand for floating storage and higher exports from the Middle East.
Bunker sales in Singapore, the world’s biggest bunkering port, fell by 5% in April from March.
Photo credit: Argus Media
Published: 18 May, 2020
Caroline Yang, President of SSA, addresses issues earlier raised by players; including PMC No. 04, the seven-day restriction, contactless bunkering, sampling point, hose connection, and more.
IBIA Asia, ABIS, sources from Singapore’s bunkering and surveying companies, and an industry veteran share with Manifold Times the issues expected from MPA’s latest Covid-19 measures.
The top three positive movers in the 2020 bunker supplier list are Hong Lam Fuels Pte Ltd (+13); Chevron Singapore Pte Ltd (+12); and SK Energy International (+8), according to MPA list.
‘We will operate in the Singapore bunkering market from the Tokyo, with support from local staff at Sumitomo Corporation Singapore,’ source tells Manifold Times.
Changes include abolishing advance declaration of bunkers as dangerous cargo, reducing pilotage fees on vessels receiving bunkers, and a ‘whitelist’ system for bunker tankers.
Claim relates to deliveries of MGO to the vessels Pacific Diligence, Pacific Valkyrie, Pacific Defiance, Crest Alpha 1, and Pacific Warlock between March 2020 to April 2020.