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JLC China Bunker Fuel Market Monthly Report (September 2023)

Country sold approximately 1.67 million mt of bonded bunker fuel in the month, with the daily sales decreasing by 4.23% to 55,610 mt from August, JLC’s data shows.

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Beijing-based commodity market information provider JLC Network Technology Co. recently shared its JLC China Bunker monthly report for September 2023 with Manifold Times through an exclusive arrangement:

Bunker Fuel Demand

China’s bonded bunker fuel sales retreat in September

China saw a drop in its bonded bunker fuel sales in September, due to tightening supply and  some policy factors.

The country sold approximately 1.67 million mt of bonded bunker fuel in the month, with the daily sales decreasing by 4.23% to 55,610 mt from August, JLC’s data shows. The sales by Chimbusco, Sinopec Zhoushan, SinoBunker and China ChangJiang Bunker (Sinopec) were respectively 550,000 mt, 620,000 mt, 75,000 mt and 35,000 mt, while those by suppliers with regional bunkering licenses dropped to 388,300 mt.

Despite relatively stable shipping demand, China’s bonded bunker fuel sales fell back amid tightening supply. Meanwhile, the barging capacity at ports in Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Xiamen became inadequate, adding to the downward pressure on the sales.

China’s bonded bunker fuel exports rally in August

China’s bonded bunker fuel exports rallied modestly in August, mainly due to a slight increase in domestic fuel oil output.

The country exported roughly 1.63 million mt of bonded bunker fuel in the month, inching up by 0.84% month on month, JLC estimated, with reference to data from the General Administration of Customs of PRC (GACC).

Among these exports were 1.55 million mt of heavy bunker fuel and 79,600 mt of light bunker fuel, which accounted for 95.12% and 4.88% of the total, respectively.

Enterprises with national bunkering licenses exported about 1.17 million mt of bonded bunker fuel in the month, accounting for 71.99% of the country’s total, with Sinopec Fuel Oil and Chimbusco taking 64.35%. Meanwhile, suppliers with regional licenses exported 456,600 mt, occupying 28.01%, with PetroChina Fuel Oil (Zhoushan, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen) supplying 234,600 mt, accounting for 14.39% of China’s exports and 51.38% of regional enterprises’ total.

Larger bonded bunker fuel exports were ascribed to faster fuel oil production. China’s daily fuel oil output settled at 146,839 mt in August, a boost of 3.31% month on month, according to data from the National Bureau of Statics (NBS). Meanwhile, bunkering business at Chinese ports recovered to some degree when typhoons weakened, which also lent some support to the exports.

Capping the upside, however, some refiners and traders ran short of quotas on low-sulfur fuel oil (LSFO) exports.

On a year-on-year comparison, China’s bonded bunker fuel exports plunged by 19.65% in August. Underlying the slump was a relatively high base in August 2022 when refiners hiked exports sharply amid new quotas.

China recorded a total of 13.66 million mt of bonded bunker fuel exports in the first eight months of this year, growing by 2.42% from the corresponding months in 2022, decelerating from a boost of 6.38% in January-July.

Heavy bunker fuel exports totaled 12.97 million mt in the eight months, making up 94.97%, while marine gas oil exports amounted to 687,400 mt, accounting for 5.03%. Enterprises with national bunkering licenses tallied about 10.97 million mt of bonded bunker fuel exports in this period, accounting for 80.32%, while those with regional licenses exported 2.69 million mt, nearly one fifth of the country’s total exports.

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Domestic-trade bunker fuel demand rises in September

Domestic-trade bunker fuel demand rose in September, amid lingering bullish sentiment and pre-holiday restocking.

Domestic-trade heavy bunker fuel demand climbed to 360,000 mt in the month, an increase of 30,000 mt or 9.09% from August, JLC’s data shows. In the meantime, domestic-trade light bunker fuel demand rose to 140,000 mt, up by 10,000 mt or 7.69% from the previous month. 

Though downstream buyers increased purchases to meet rigid demand, their acceptance of high prices was still limited.

Bunker Fuel Supply

China sees a drop in its August bonded bunker fuel imports

China’s bonded bunker fuel imports dropped in August, as import costs surged and domestic fuel oil production sped up.

The country imported approximately 306,500 mt of bonded bunker fuel in the month, a cut of 8.23% from the previous month and 8.48% from a year earlier, JLC estimated, with reference to data from the General Administration of Customs of PRC (GACC).

South Korea became the largest supplier to China by exporting about 111,600 mt of bonded bunker fuel, accounting for 36.4% of the latter’s total imports. Oman ranked second with 100,600 mt, accounting for 32.8%, while Russia slipped to the third place with 91,300 mt, making up 29.8%. There were also 3,000 mt of bonded bunker fuel coming from Singapore, occupying 1.0%.

Domestic importers showed lower buying interest, as high-sulfur bunker fuel prices in Asia soared amid surging international crude and imported low-sulfur bunker fuel prices still lacked price advantages. Meanwhile, freight rates for imported cargoes stayed firm, adding to the downward pressure on the imports.

The drop in the imports was also because of larger domestic production. Chinese refiners raised their daily fuel oil output to 146,839 mt in August, an increase of 3.31% month on month, according to data from the National Bureau of Statics (NBS).

China’s bonded bunker fuel imports totaled about 2.49 million mt in January-August, diving by 20.58% from the same months in 2022, slowing down from a plunge of 22.02% in January-July.

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Chinese blenders supply more domestic-trade heavy bunker fuel in Sept

Chinese blenders supplied more domestic-trade heavy bunker fuel in September, as they raised output when refineries increased low-sulfur residual oil supply. Meanwhile, terminal buyers placed more orders for bunker fuel towards the public holiday for the Mid-Autumn Festival and the National Day.

Chinese blenders supplied about 390,000 mt of domestic-trade heavy bunker fuel in the month, a boost of 20,000 mt or 5.41% from August, JLC’s data shows.

On the contrary, domestic-trade marine gas oil (MGO) supply dropped to 160,000 mt, a cut of 10,000 mt or 5.88% month on month. Coking margins were squeezed by rising feedstock prices, forcing refineries to reduce their light bunker fuel supply.

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Editor
Yvette Luo
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Sales (Beijing)
Tony Tang
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Ginny Teo
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JLC Network Technology Co., Ltd is recognized as the leading information provider in China. We specialized in providing the transparent, high-value, authoritative market intelligence and professional analysis in commodity market. Our expertise covers oil, gas, coal, chemical, plastic, rubber, fertilizer and metal industry, etc.

JLC China Bunker Fuel Market Monthly Report is published by JLC Network Technology Co., Ltd every month on China bunker market, demand, supply, margin, freight index, forecast and so on. The report provides full-scale & concise insight into China bunker oil market.

All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be photocopied, reproduced, retransmitted, put into a computer system or otherwise redistributed without prior authorization from JLC.

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Note: China-based commodity market information provider JLC Technology has been providing Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times China bunker volume data since 2020. Data from that period is available here.

Photo credit: JLC Network Technology
Published: 13 October, 2023

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Events

DNV, VPS, ZeroNorth and Equatorial Marine Fuel among Marine Fuels 360 Award winners 

Informa Markets announced recipients to twelve open awards across four sectors – Shipping, Bunker Trade & Supply, Decarbonisation & Technology and Bunkering services – and three special awards.

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DNV, VPS, ZeroNorth and Equatorial Marine Fuel among Marine Fuels 360 Award winners

Informa Markets on Wednesday (29 November) announced the recipients to the inaugural Marine Fuels 360 Awards 2023 at a Gala Dinner held at the Marina Bay Sands.

Twelve open awards across four sectors – Shipping, Bunker Trade & Supply, Decarbonisation & Technology and Bunkering services were conferred, evaluated by a panel of judges formed by industry thought-leaders.

The hotly contested Decarbonisation Technology Award was awarded to Anemoi Marine Technologies, with their Rotor Sails technology standing out as an innovative, safe and effective solution for reducing environmental impact of the shipping industry, as well as its potential for wide- scale adoption. 

Kim Diederichsen, CEO of Anemoi Marine Technologies, said: “What we do is we bring wind technology to the market, namely rotor sails. It's an honour being here, receiving this prestigious award this night.” Reducing fuel consumption and emissions on commercial vessels through utilising wind power for auxiliary propulsion, the technology can be adapted to various vessel types and sizes from existing vessels to newbuilds, to enhance their Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI).

TFG Marine Pte Ltd was awarded the Physical Supplier of the Year Award. It stands out as an industry leader for its scale of operations, proactive approach to decarbonisation, investment in technology, commitment to transparency and customer service. As one of the world’s largest physical bunker suppliers, TFG has delivered more than 10 million tons to over 480 clients globally over the last financial year. 

Marine Fuels 360 Conference
Marine Fuels 360 Awards

“TFG is very honoured to get this award and it's a recognition of the hard work and the good work we have done and also the milestones we have achieved so far for the whole of the year. We will continue to strive to provide good services and transparency to our customers, support all the alternative fuels and energy transitions across all spectrum”, said Soo Yong, Regional Bunker Sales.

Three special awards were also presented to celebrate the recognise the outstanding work and exemplary contributions to three individuals, recognising their performance in the bunkering industry – Industry Icon, CEO of the Year and Lifetime Achievement:

The Industry Icon Award goes to Mr Choong Kien Siong, President, Equatorial Marine Fuel Management Services Pte Ltd, who said: “It is a great honour to receive this prestigious award. Together withthe new generation, Equatorial Marine Fuel will continue to adapt and reinvent ourselves as we sail into the green economy.”

The CEO of the Year was presented to Mr. Russell Hardy, Group CEO, Vitol Services Ltd. Receiving the award on his behalf is Captain Rishab Bahl, Managing Director of Mansel Pte Ltd, said: “The maritime industry has committed to a major decarbonisation mission and this is not going to be without challenges. Our industry will turn to Singapore for leadership and our industry has committed to a major decarbonisation mission where we will support Singapore’s decarbonising journey.

The honorary Lifetime Achievement was also conferred to Capt. Rajesh Unni, Executive Chairman, Synergy Marine Group, who said: “If there is one thing that I have learnt, is that Singapore offersthe opportunity on the basis of meritocracy, there is hope for people to take and given their all and there is chance, so I am grateful for this country for giving us the opportunity and that I have made some impact in your life, that hopefully is my mission.

The full list of awardees as below:

Shipping

Shipping Company of the Year - Hafnia
Ship Manager of the Year – Synergy Marine Group

Bunker Trade & Supply

Physical Supplier of the Year – TFG Marine Pte Ltd
Physical Trader of the Year - Minerva Bunkering Pte Ltd
Deal of the Year - Shell North America LNG
Alternative-Fuelled Vessel Design of the Year - Eaglestar Shipmanagement (S) Pte Ltd
Supply Chain & Logistics Excellence of the Year - TotalEnergies Marine Fuels Pte. Ltd.

Decarbonisation & Technology

Decarbonisation Technology - Anemoi Marine Technologies
Digitalisation- ZeroNorth
Start-Up of the Year - Njord

Bunkering Services

Classification Society - DNV
Marine Fuel Testing & Inspection Excellence - Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS)

Marine Fuels 360 Conference
DNV receiving the Classification Society Award
Marine Fuels 360 Conference
Captain Rahul Choudhuri, President, Strategic Partnerships at VPS receiving the Marine Fuel Testing & Inspection Excellence Award

Special Awards

Industry Icon – Mr Choong Kien Siong, Equatorial Marine Fuel Management Services Pte Ltd
CEO of the Year - Mr. Russell Hardy, Vitol Services Ltd
Lifetime Achievement – Capt. Rajesh Unni, Synergy Marine Group

Related: Singapore: President of Equatorial Marine Fuel Management Services receives ‘Industry Icon Award’
Related: ZeroNorth enables Golden Island to become Singapore’s first 100% digital bunker supplier
RelatedSingapore: Marine Fuels 360 Awards and Conference 2023 to bring together industry’s best

Photo credit: Informa Markets
Published: 1 December, 2023

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Digital platform

ZeroNorth enables Golden Island to become Singapore’s first 100% digital bunker supplier

Access to ZeroNorth Bunker Electronic Bunker Delivery Notes (eBDN) will streamline bunker processes, enabling Golden Island to drive efficiency, transparency, and contribute to decarbonising shipping.

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ZeroNorth

Technology company ZeroNorth on Thursday (30 November) has announced that it has enabled its customer Golden Island Diesel Oil Trading Pte Ltd (Golden Island) to become the first marine fuel supplier in Singapore to go 100% digital in its use of Electronic Bunker Delivery Notes (eBDN).

Golden Island has chosen ZeroNorth Bunker’s eBDN solution, developed by BTS and recently consolidated under the ZeroNorth Bunker brand. The company will be able to provide 100% digital processes to increase transparency and improve collaboration. 

“Enabled by ZeroNorth’s technology platform, Golden Island plans to stop issuing physical BDNs from 1 December, as part of the company’s digitalisation initiative to move away from manual, paper-based processes and reduce its environmental impact on the journey to greener operations,” ZeroNorth said in a statement shared with Singapore-based bunkering publication Manifold Times.

ZeroNorth’s eBDN service will digitalise the bunker delivery process for its customers, with Golden Island the first to benefit and swiftly and securely verify purchased fuel quantities, eliminate delays and ensure smooth transactions.

“This move will help Golden Island to streamline the bunkering documentation process, increasing transparency, and driving efficiency and productivity across its marine fuel delivery operations. Digitalisation will enhance crew productivity and operational efficiencies. By eliminating paper forms with ZeroNorth’s solution, Golden Island expects to save at least two hours of manual data entry work each day,” ZeroNorth added. 

By digitalising the bunkering process, ZeroNorth will turn millions of data points into actionable recommendations for Golden Island on where it can drive efficiencies and achieve greener operations. With more data being interpreted through the digitalisation of BDNs, increasingly robust insights and analysis of emissions will then be generated for customers, further powering up the marine fuel market’s data flywheel. This will also enhance reporting, as information is standardised and readily available in a digital format.

Tomohiro Yamano, General Manager, Marine Fuel Department at Golden Island, said: “A month after the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) launched its digital bunkering initiative as the first port in the world to implement eBDN, we are proud to be the first company to fully switch to eBDN in the Singapore bunkering market. To achieve this, we required a solution that would facilitate a seamless workflow to enhance the productivity and efficiency of our marine fuel delivery operations.

“We were impressed with ZeroNorth’s deep understanding of the bunker industry and the capabilities of its eBDN solution. Digitalising our bunker processes with eBDN fits in with our digitalisation initiative to enhance and streamline operations, which will in turn also drive easier reporting and analysis of emissions.”

Kenneth Juhls, Managing Director for ZeroNorth Bunker at ZeroNorth, said: “Bunker procurement has been a traditionally cumbersome process, burdened by manual documentation. We’re delighted to be helping Golden Island eliminate these manual processes to streamline documentation, drive efficiencies and boost productivity across its operations as a global eBDN solution on the market.

“Given the integral role marine fuels are set to play in decarbonising shipping, ZeroNorth is proud to help our customers and the wider industry digitalise bunker operations. The data generated will in turn help enable the data flywheel effect, driving actionable recommendations on where further efficiencies can be created for the benefit of both profit and planet.”

The first internal trial for Golden Island using ZeroNorth’s eBDN solution began in November 2022. The company is now ready to adopt it into its operations after a year testing the solution, with assistance and approval from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).

Manifold Times previously reported Singapore bunker supplier Golden Island Diesel Oil Trading Pte Ltd (Golden Island) will be fully adopting the electronic Bunker Delivery Note (e-BDN) for commercial bunkering operations from 1 December 2023 onwards.

Marine Fuels 360 Conference

ZeroNorth also announced it won the Digitalisation Award at the Marine Fuels 360 Awards Gala Dinner on 29 November. 

Commenting on the award, Juhls said: “We are proud and humble to get recognised by this award. The full team in ZeroNorth works hard everyday to bring value to our clients through our software solution. We are looking forward to continuing our collaboration with our customers, partners and the industry in our ambition of making global trade green.”

Related: Singapore: Golden Island switching to 100% e-BDN operations from 1 December
Related: ZeroNorth consolidates existing bunkering business following acquisitions 
Related: Singapore set to become first port in the world to debut electronic bunker delivery notes
Related: MPA Chief Executive: Port of Singapore begins digital bunkering initiative today 
Related: ZeroNorth acquires Singapore’s bunker supplier software provider BTS
Related: ZeroNorth acquires Prosmar Bunker Dashboard solution and Bunker Pricer module
Related: ZeroNorth acquires US-based bunker market platform ClearLynx
Related: ZeroNorth unveils ZeroNorth Bunker for bunker planning, procurement, and analytics
Related: ZeroNorth opens new office in Singapore to expand in Asia
Related: Singapore: Marine Fuels 360 Awards and Conference 2023 to bring together industry’s best

Photo credit: ZeroNorth / Informa Markets
Published: 30 November, 2023

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Biofuel

Kenoil Marine Services to conduct first-ever bunkering of bio-blended LSMGO in Singapore

“Kosmos Lily” is slated to supply bio-blended LSMGO, sourced from Alpha Biofuels, representing the first-ever bunkering of bio-blended LSMGO in Port of Singapore, says Jurong Port.

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Kenoil Marine Services to conduct first-ever bunkering of bio-blended LSMGO in Singapore

Jurong Port on Wednesday (29 November) said Kenoil Marine Services Pte Ltd, a licensed bunker supplier, successfully loaded 200 metric tonnes of B24 bio-blended Low Sulphur Marine Gas Oil (LSMGO) in Singapore.

The B24 marine biofuel blend was onto Kenoil Marine’s bunker tanker Kosmos Lily.

Kosmos Lily is slated to supply this bio-blended LSMGO, sourced from Alpha Biofuels, representing the first-ever bunkering of bio-blended LSMGO in the Port of Singapore,” Jurong Port said in a social media post.

“Jurong Port takes pride in serving as the preferred port infrastructure for biofuel bunkering, and supporting the maritime industry's energy transition toward achieving net-zero emissions.”

Separately, Allan Lim Yee Chian, Founder and CEO at Alpha Biofuels, said the firm has been working to produce, blend and supply better quality biofuels for the maritime industry for over the last two years.

“We focused a lot on traceability of the biofuels , stability of the blended product and also the cost of the product,” he said in a social media post.

“The result is a bio-bunker fuel that balances the need for decarbonisation by the industry against the cost of sustainable biofuel.”

Photo credit: Jurong Port
Published: 30 November, 2023

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