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EXCLUSIVE: Middle East bunkering sector to see ‘healthier environment’ in 2018

02 Feb 2018

The Middle East will experience a healthier bunker trading environment in 2018 when compared to last year, forecasts the Trading Manager of Dubai-based commodities trading firm Ennero.

“We expect to see a healthier trading environment for the Middle East market in 2018,” Apurva Mali told Manifold Times in an exclusive interview.

“Fujairah volumes continue to suffer due to less vessels bunkering there, which puts added pressure on all physical suppliers.

“Companies involved in bunker trading and supply will have to further evaluate their cost structure and look to streamline their operations and make it as lean as possible.”

According to Mali, geo-political events surrounding the region in 2017 created a tremendous impact on the Middle Eastern shipping and oil industry.

The development, which constrained financing to certain nations, helped develop new trade flows; it also resulted in certain marine fuel players pulling out of the sector due to the inability to adapt away from traditional business models.

“Starting in an environment like described above, we managed to deliver good results as our latest financials have shown Ennero generating healthy net profits for the seven months’ period ending December 2017,” he said while declining the reveal the exact figure.

Ennero is a privately-funded commodity trading firm established in May 2017 with its headquarters in Dubai and a subsidiary entity in London.

The company generates its revenue via three streams; the trading and supply of maritime fuels and lubricants, the trading and downstream distribution of petroleum products (between 5kt to 10kt) across landlocked regions in Africa to the industrial sector, and price risk management and advisory services.

“Ennero's initial strategy is to focus on the Middle East and Gulf Cooperation Council markets while making inroads to various African markets specific to downstream distribution and petroleum products trading,” notes Mali.

“What sets Ennero apart from the rest of the market is our business model and go to market strategy was built on the current market conditions and challenges. 

“We're a very 2017 company, bringing a modern, flexible and innovative approach to trading and supply.”

He explains the company having a preference for long term business, while focusing on providing its clients with intangible value-added benefits rather than just price and credit terms.

“We plan to grow by building credibility, trust and performance with clients, suppliers and with our investors,” he says.

Moving on, Mali expects the uptick in oil prices to be among challenges faced by Ennero in 2018.

“The challenge will be whether premiums will follow the sharp rise in price of oil and the trickle effect it may have on returns and working capital management.

Ennero, which comprises of experienced staff from Trafigura, Rio Tinto, Maersk and Monjasa, started operations in Dubai from May 2017.

Published: 2 February, 2018

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