Global energy and commodity price reporting agency Argus Media on Friday (3 May) provided a marine fuels market related update:
Maersk earlier this year announced that it will be supplying 0.5pc sulphur fuel oil from US independent refiner PBF Energy in the US Atlantic coast. The fuel is compliant with the global marine fuel regulation which will take place on 1 January 2020 and will cap bunker fuel sulphur content from 3.5pc to 0.5pc. Maersk will procure 1.25mn t/yr from PBF. Latest data from US Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed residual fuel oil bunker fuel sales on the US Atlantic, excluding Florida, declined to 1.84mn t in 2017 from 2.05mn t in 2016. Of the 1.84mn t in 2017, 1.09mn t sold in the New York Harbor (NYH). PBF's 1.25mn t/yr 0.5pc sulphur fuel oil production, marketed by Maersk, can cover the entire New York Harbor demand in 2020.
Maersk imported about 419,400t of high-sulphur residual fuel oil in 2018 from Canada, Colombia, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela. With this year's US sanctions on Venezuela and the mothballing of the Trinidad refinery, Maersk likely will prop up its residual fuel oil imports from Canada, Colombia and Russia through the third quarter of 2019. In the fourth quarter, in preparation for the 2020 marine fuel regulation, Maersk's appetite for high-sulphur fuel oil imports likely will drop off.
EIA data showed that the latest weekly residual fuel oil stocks on the US east coast spiked up to May 2018 levels. For the week ending 26 April 2019, stocks reached 7.99mn bl, up 20pc from 2018 weekly average of 6.67mn bl. The stockpiling can be attributed to a coker turnaround at PBF's Delaware City refinery, which will be completed in mid-May. Residual fuel oil stocks on the east coast are expected to build up starting in October as demand for high-sulphur fuel oil for bunkering as well as international exports decline. Some of the US northeast high-sulphur residual fuel oil could be barged to Florida, where demand for high-sulphur fuel oil from cruise ships with scrubbers will linger.
In the US Atlantic, marine gasoil (MGO), which is a distillate product compliant with the 2020 marine fuel regulation, is unlikely to attract increased buying interest from shipowners because of its scarcity. In 2018, the US Atlantic coast exported 35,479 b/d and imported 145,814 b/d of gasoil. The US Atlantic accounted for about 820,600t of MGO sold in 2017.
Source: Argus Media
Published: 6 May, 2019
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