Beijing-based commodity market information provider JLC Network Technology Co. recently shared its JLC China Bunker monthly report for May 2022 with Manifold Times through an exclusive arrangement:
Bunker Fuel Demand
Bonded bunker fuel sales down in May
China’s bonded bunker fuel sales slipped in May, mainly because of tightening supply at certain ports. The sales slid to about 1.59 mln mt in the month, down 1.1% from April, JLC’s data shows.
Chimbusco and Sinopec sold about 590,000 mt and 670,000 mt of bonded bunker fuel in May, JLC’s data indicates. Bonded bunker fuel sales for SinoBunker and China ChangJiang Bunker (Sinopec) were 72,400 mt and 39,000 mt respectively. At the same time, suppliers with the local license recorded 216,100 mt of sales.
The bonded bunker fuel sales were mixed at different ports in the month, as bonded bunker fuel supply diverged while demand largely stabilized. The sales of bonded bunker fuel uplifted in some regions where bonded bunker fuel supply was relatively abundant, such as Zhoushan and Shandong. Conversely, some southern ports with tight supply, like those in Shenzhen and Xiamen, recorded a drop in their bonded bunker fuel sales in the month.
Overall, the total amount of sales showed a slight downtrend in May 2022.
China’s bonded bunker fuel exports settled at roughly 1.29 mln mt in April 2022, falling 14.06% month on month and slumping 36.97% year on year, according to data from GACC. Among the exports were 1.22 mln mt of heavy bunker fuel and 68,000 mt of light MGO in April, accounting for 94.71% and 5.29% respectively.
State-owned enterprises exported about 1.11 mln mt of bonded bunker fuel in the month, accounting for 86.04% of the total. Specifically, bonded bunker fuel exports were 530,600 mt by Sinopec, 462,900 mt by Chimbusco, 73,000 mt by SinoBunker and 39,700 mt by China ChangJiang Bunker (Sinopec). Exports by independent enterprises reached 179,600 mt, accounting for 13.96%.
Domestic bunker fuel demand rebounds in May
Domestic bunker fuel demand bounced amid a relief in virus-related restrictions in May, though most deals were based on rigid demand.
The demand for domestic-trade heavy bunker fuel was around 310,000 mt in the month, up 30,000 mt or 10.71% month on month. Meanwhile, the demand for light bunker fuel increased to 140,000 mt, jumping 40,000 mt or 40% from a month before.
Domestic bunker fuel demand recovered slowly in the month as many enterprises began to resume work and production with the easing of the epidemic. In addition, the ongoing supply tightening generated some concerns of supply shortage, resulting in more inquiries and an increase in market trade.
Bunker Fuel Supply
Bonded bunker fuel imports keep falling in April
China’s bonded bunker fuel imports dived further on multiple factors in April, hitting a new low over the past six months.
China imported approximately 306,300 mt of bonded bunker fuel in April 2022, falling 22.22% from a month before and tumbling 62.29% from a year before, GACC data shows.
Exorbitant import costs continued to weigh on domestic buyers in April, as premiums for imported bonded bunker fuel and freight rates for the cargoes remained high. Therefore, the arrivals of the bunker fuel imports stayed low, and domestic low-sulfur resources still held the upper hand.
In addition, the imports were strongly inhibited by the tightening supply of low-sulfur fuel oil (LSFO) in Singapore, a major supplier of LSFO imports to China. Meanwhile, the recent sulfur pollution incident in Singapore also capped high-sulfur fuel oil imports from the country, resulting in a plunge in China’s April bonded bunker fuel imports.
The source countries of bonded bunker fuel imports changed a lot in the month. The UAE climbed to the top among the suppliers by exporting 98,300 mt of bonded bunker fuel to China, accounting for about 32% of the total imports. Russia ranked second with 92,400 mt of imports from the country, accounting for 30%. The followings were South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore, with 56,500 mt from South Korea, 40,000 mt from Malaysia and 19,100 mt from Singapore, accounting for 19%, 13% and 6% respectively.
Domestic blended bunker fuel supply surges in May
Chinese blending producers supplied a total of about 330,000 mt of heavy bunker fuel in May 2022, rising 60,000 mt or 22.2% from a month before, JLC’s data shows. As for the light bunker fuel, the domestic marine gas oil (MGO) supply settled at about 150,000 mt in the month, leaping 40,000 mt or 36.36% from April.
The blended bunker fuel supply rallied in the month amid increasing production and improving control of the epidemic, in addition to a cross-regional procurement of Shandong traders.
Specifically, the supply of low-sulfur asphalt was boosted with the maintenance of several state-run refineries coming to an end. Downstream purchase interest for shale oil was good though the shale oil prices were still on the high side, leading the supply to grow. What’s more, the supply of coal-based diesel also climbed, tracking the rise in the supply of coking feedstocks and blendstocks when domestic gasoline and diesel markets ushered in the peak consumption season.
Bunker Prices, Profits
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.
Related: JLC China Bunker Market Monthly Report (April 2022)
Related: JLC China Bunker Market Monthly Report (March 2022)
Related: JLC China Bunker Market Monthly Report (February 2022)
Related: JLC China Bunker Market Monthly Report (January 2022)
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: 16 June, 2022
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