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JLC China Bunker Market Monthly Report (November 2022)

China’s bonded bunker fuel sales fell further in November, as downstream consumption kept shrinking amid COVID-19 virus and related restrictions, JLC data showed.

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Beijing-based commodity market information provider JLC Network Technology Co. recently shared its JLC China Bunker monthly report for November 2022 with Manifold Times through an exclusive arrangement:

Bunker Fuel Demand

China’s bonded bunker fuel sales fall further in Nov

China’s bonded bunker fuel sales fell further in November, as downstream consumption kept shrinking amid the virus and related restrictions, despite a drop in domestic bunker fuel prices. The sales at most Chinese ports except for Ningbo Zhoushan port were stable to lower month on month. 

The country sold about 1.54 million mt of bonded bunker fuel in November, a monthly dip of 3.46%, JLC’s data shows. Specifically, the sales by Chimbusco went up to 570,000 mt, while those by Sinopec Zhoushan, SinoBunker and China ChangJiang Bunker (Sinopec) slid to 580,000 mt, 60,000 mt and 45,000 mt respectively. In addition, suppliers with local licenses sold 280,000 mt of bonded bunker fuel in the month. 

China’s bonded bunker fuel exports plunged to a 31-month low in October, as demand in the shipping market was dampened by the epidemic and China lost price advantages of bonded low-sulfur fuel oil (LSFO). China recorded roughly 1.23 million mt of bonded bunker fuel exports in October 2022, a collapse of 38.60%month on month and 20.25% year on year, setting a new low since March 2020, according to the data from the GeneralAdministration of Customs of PRC (GACC). Among the exports were about 1.17 million mt of heavy bunker fuel and 65,600 mt of light marine gas oil (MGO), accounting for 94.68% and 5.32% of the total respectively. 

Enterprises with national licenses exported approximately 994,200 mt of bonded bunker fuel in the month, making up 80.59%, while those with local licenses exported 239,400 mt, accounting for 19.41%, GACC data  indicates. 

China’s bonded bunker fuel exports saw a dramatic slump as bunker fuel consumption in the shipping market was hit hard by the lingering negative impact of the virus. Meanwhile, some ship owners reduced purchases as bunker fuel prices at certain ports rose on relatively tight supply, adding to the downward pressure on the exports. 

On the other hand, China’s LSFO output rallied in the month, with some refiners moderately boosting LSFO production on the strength of a new batch of export quotas. The country’s LSFO output (of Chinese refiners with export quotas) totaled about 1.33 million mt in October, gaining 6.23% month on month, JLC’s data shows.

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Domestic bunker fuel demand contracts in Nov

Domestic-trade bunker fuel demand continued to contract last month, as more downstream buyers stood onthe fence amid a bland outlook of the domestic bunker fuel market. The demand for heavy bunker fuel dwindled to 360,000 mt in November, down by 30,000 mt or 7.69%fromOctober, JLC’s data indicates. Downstream buyers showed resistance to relatively high bunker fuel prices when the negative effects of the epidemic persisted. Likewise, light bunker fuel demand remained on a downswing with ship owners’ costs still relatively steep, though marine gas oil (MGO) prices observed a modest withdrawal. Domestic-trade light bunker fuel demand settled at 130,000 mt in the month, a decline of 15,000 mt or 10.34% month on month, the data shows. Purchases were still based on rigid demand and overall trading was quite thin. 

Bunker Fuel Supply

China’s bonded bunker fuel imports extend gains in October

China expanded its bonded bunker fuel imports further in October as domestic supply was still relatively tight despite a slight rise in low-sulfur fuel oil (LSFO) output. 

China tallied about 503,900 mt of bonded bunker fuel imports in October, growing by 17.76%month on month and nearly doubling year on year, according to data from the General Administration of Customs of PRC (GACC). 

Domestic bonded bunker fuel supply remained relatively tight as less profitable production dampenedChinese refiners’ enthusiasm. Although certain refiners boosted their LSFO production moderately amid newexport quotas, most still prioritized diesel production and export of which margins were more considerable. The country’s LSFO output (of Chinese refiners with export quotas) totaled about 1.33 million mt in October, gaining 6.23% month on month, with the daily output climbing by 3.80% to 42,903 mt, JLC’s data shows.

In addition, some Chinese ports lost price advantage with domestic bonded 0.5% sulfur bunker fuel oil prices inflating, leading some market participants to increase imports of bonded bunker resources. 

The UAE still led all suppliers by exporting 149,500 mt of bonded bunker fuel to China, despite a month-on-month slump of 46.22%, accounting for 29% of the total. Meanwhile, the imports fromSouth Korea and Russia rose to 111,600 mt and 105,300 mt, making up 22% and 21% respectively. Malaysia remained in fourth with imports from the country amounting to 69,600 mt and occupying 14%. There were also some imports coming from Singapore and Japan, which accounted for 8% and 6% respectively. China imported an accumulation of roughly 4.07 million mt of bonded bunker fuel in the first ten months of 2022, a tremendous plunge of 42.39% year on year, GACC data shows. 

The plunge was mainly attributed to larger LSFO production. The country produced a total of 12.61 million mt of LSFO in January-October 2022, a steep jump of 38.96% from the corresponding months in 2021, JLC’s data shows. China has been making great efforts to ramp up LSFO production over the recent years, aiming to reduce its reliance on imported low-sulfur resources.

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Domestic blended bunker fuel supply tightens in Nov

Chinese blenders supplied 390,000 mt of heavy bunker fuel in November, a cutback of 30,000 mt or 7.14%from the previous month, JLC’s data indicates. Domestic blended heavy bunker fuel supply tightened in the month due to a further decrease in blendstock supply. The transportation of light coal tar and coal-based diesel was constrained by the virus-related restrictions coupled with bad weather in northern regions. Meanwhile, cargo delivery in Shandong was also hampered by the epidemic, adding to the downward pressure on domestic supply. As for blended light bunker fuel, the supply of domestic marine gas oil (MGO) fell by 20,000 mt or 11.76% to 150,000 mt in the month, the data shows. Downstream buyers became more cautious about purchases with the domestic diesel market ushering in a seasonal off-season.

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Bunker Prices, Profits

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Editor
Yvette Luo
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Sales (Beijing)
Tony Tang
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Sales (Singapore)
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.

Related: JLC China Bunker Market Monthly Report (October 2022)
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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 December, 2022

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Fuel Testing

Singapore: CTI-Maritec shares testing protocols ahead of mandatory enhanced bunker fuel checks

In light of mandatory enhanced checks for marine fuel delivered at Singapore port coming into effect on 1 June, CTI-Maritec shares recommendations for fuel testing protocols, primarily focused at COCs and SAN detection for bunker supply in Singapore.

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With mandatory enhanced checks for marine fuel delivered at Singapore port coming into effect on 1 June, bunker fuel testing and marine surveying business Maritec Pte Ltd (CTI-Maritec) has published a newsletter providing recommendations on vital pre-emptive fuel testing measures vessels should be taking as part of their routine fuel testing and also recommendations on optimal testing options available when deep-dive analysis is required to determine a root cause: 

Introduction

On 8 February 2024 the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) issued a Port Marine Circular No 3 of 2024 regarding the implementation of enhanced testing parameters for marine fuel batches intended to be delivered as bunkers in the Port of Singapore in addition to the existing quality assurance measures.

In accordance with the MPA’s Port Marine Circular No 3 of 2024, from 1 June 2024 onwards, bunker suppliers in the Port of Singapore must ensure that:

  • Residual & Bio-residual bunker fuel do not contain Chlorinated Organic Compounds (COC) above 50mg/kg and are free from inorganic acids.
  • COC must be tested using the EN 14077 accredited test method and shall be reported in the “Certificate of Quality” (COQ) provided to receiving vessels.
  • Inorganic acids must use the ASTM D664 accredited test method as prescribed in ISO 8217 and the Strong Acid Number (SAN) (in addition to the Total Acid Number (TAN) shall be reported in the COQ (i.e. SAN = 0) provided to receiving vessels. For distillate / bio-distillate bunker marine fuel batches, SAN must be tested as per ASTM D664 test method and reported in the COQ.
  • Residual marine fuels are free from polystyrene, polypropylene & polymethacrylate. These can be tested by filtration, microscopic examination, & Fourier-Transform Infrared spectroscopy analysis.

Testing Recommendations in line with MPA Enhanced Parameters to Protect Your Vessels:

In view of the above, CTI-Maritec recommends fuel testing protocols as depicted in the chart below (as routine pre-emptive measures and/or for deep dive requirements to detect the root cause) to help safeguard vessel health.

Our recommendations are primarily focused at COCs and SAN detection for bunker supply in Singapore, while recommendations for testing Polymers are advised for requirements of reported problem cases or when highly abnormal GCMS findings of chemical compounds like Styrene, DCPD and Indene are detected.

COC & SAN GCMS testing Packages A to E

Related: Singapore: CTI-Maritec publishes whitepaper on upcoming mandatory enhanced bunker fuel tests
Related: Singapore: Marine fuel quality testing agencies applaud move for mandatory enhanced bunker fuel tests
Related: Singapore: MPA tightens testing parameters to reduce contaminated bunker fuels
Related: MPA: Glencore and PetroChina supplied contaminated bunkers to about 200 ships in the Port of Singapore

 

Photo credit: Louis Reed from Unsplash
Published: 29 May 2024

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Methanol

VPS conducts assessment on first SIMOPS methanol bunkering op in Singapore

Firm was appointed by OCI Methanol Europe to conduct a quantity and quality assessment of a methanol bunker fuel delivery to “Eco Maestro” in Singapore.

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VPS conducts assessment on first SIMOPS methanol bunkering op in Singapore

Marine fuels testing company VPS on Tuesday (28 May) said it was appointed by OCI Methanol Europe, part of the OCI Global Group, to conduct a quantity and quality assessment of a methanol fuel delivery to Eco Maestro in Singapore.

Captain Rahul Choudhuri, President Strategic Partnerships, VPS, said VPS survey experts Rafael Theseira and Muhd Nazmi Abdul Rahim were at hand during the methanol bunkering to ensure the 300 metric tonnes of methanol transfer was carried out smoothly, having been involved in the first methanol bunkering a year ago. 

Manifold Times recently reported X-Press Feeders, Global Energy Trading Pte Ltd (GET), and PSA Singapore (PSA) successfully completing the first simultaneous methanol bunkering and cargo operation (SIMOPS) in Singapore.

A X-Press Feeder container vessel, Eco Maestro, on its maiden voyage from Asia to Europe was successfully refuelled with close to 300 mt of bio-methanol by GET, a MPA licensed bunker supplier, using MT KARA

The ISCC-certified bio-methanol used for the SIMOPS was produced by green methanol producer OCI Global and supplied via GET, a ISCC-certified supplier.

Captain Choudhuri said the role of the marine, petroleum or bunker surveyor has evolved over the years in shipping and maritime affairs, but the principles have not - and that is to provide independent assessment of the quality and quantity of the product transfer. 

“This may seem obvious but this quality and quantity control is crucial to avoid commercial discrepancies, shortages or fraud,” he said.

“Safety training is critical and we have been on top of this having completed the required MPA fire-fighting course and the IBIA Methanol training course. We will work more with the Singapore Maritime Academy for trainings in future,” he added.

In August last year, Singapore-headquartered independent common carrier X-Press Feeders launched its first ever dual-fuel vessel Eco Maestro in China.

Manifold Times previously reported VPS stating it was the first company to complete a methanol bunker quantity survey (BQS) operation in Singapore on 27 July last year.

VPS was appointed by Maersk and Hong Lam Marine Pte Ltd, to undertake the very first bunker quantity survey (BQS) of a methanol fuel delivery, supplied by Hong Lam to the Maersk vessel on its maiden voyage to Europe. 

Related: First SIMOPS methanol bunkering operation completed in Singapore
Related: VPS completes quantity survey on Singapore’s first methanol bunkering op
Related: Singapore bunkering sector enters milestone with first methanol marine refuelling op
Related: X-Press Feeders launches its first methanol dual-fuel vessel “Eco Maestro” in China

 

Photo credit: VPS
Published: 29 May 2024

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LNG Bunkering

Gasum and Equinor ink continuation of long-term LNG bunkering agreement

Agreement builds on the success of the previous contract Gasum has had with Equinor; Gasum’s bunker vessels “Coralius”, “Kairos” and “Coral Energy” will be used for the bunkering operations.

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Gasum and Equinor ink continuation of long-term LNG bunkering agreement

Nordic liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunker supplier Gasum on Tuesday (28 May) said it signed a long-term contract with Norway-based global energy company Equinor whereby Gasum continues to supply LNG to Equinor’s dual-fuel chartered fleet of vessels. 

The agreement builds on the success of the previous contract Gasum has had with Equinor. Gasum’s bunker vessels Coralius, Kairos and Coral Energy will be used for the bunkering operations.

The agreement also includes additional support services such as cooling down and gassing up, which has also been a part of Gasum’s previous collaboration with Equinor. 

Gasum has organised three separate LNG cool down operations for Equinor in Skagen so far this year.

Both Gasum and Equinor have committed to sustainability goals to enable a cleaner energy future. Equinor’s ambition is to become a net-zero emissions energy company by 2050.

Using LNG in maritime transport means complete removal of sulfur oxides (SOx) and particles, and reduction of nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions of up to 85 percent as well as a reduction in CO2 emissions by at least 20%. LNG is interchangeable with liquefied biogas (LBG/bio-LNG), which reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 90% compared to conventional fuel such as marine gasoil (MGO).

With LNG and bio-LNG the maritime industry can reduce emissions already today, instead of waiting for future solutions. Gasum’s strategic goal is to bring yearly seven terawatt hours (7 TWh) of renewable gas to market by 2027. Achieving this goal would mean combined carbon dioxide reduction of 1.8 million tons per year for Gasum’s customers.

Related: Equinor Energy AS extends LNG bunkering agreement with Gasum
Related: Gasum expands LNG bunkering business to ARA region through partnership with Equinor

 

Photo credit: Gasum
Published: 29 May 2024

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