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JLC China Bunker Market Monthly Report (October 2023)

Country tallied roughly 1.63 million mt of bonded bunker fuel sales in the month, with the daily sales down by 5.74% from September to 52,419 mt, 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 October 2023 with Manifold Times through an exclusive arrangement:

Bunker Fuel Demand

China’s bonded bunker fuel sales decrease in October

China’s bonded bunker fuel sales decreased further in October, because of tighter supply.

The country tallied roughly 1.63 million mt of bonded bunker fuel sales in the month, with the daily sales down by 5.74% from September to 52,419 mt, JLC’s data shows.

The sales by Chimbusco, Sinopec Zhoushan and SinoBunker slid to 520,000 mt, 580,000 mt and 70,000 mt in the month respectively, while those by China ChangJiang Bunker (Sinopec) stabilized at 35,000 mt. At the same time, enterprises with regional bunkering licenses sold about 420,000 mt of bonded bunker fuel, up from 388,300 mt in September.

China’s bonded bunker fuel sales continued to drop, as low-sulfur fuel oil supply tightened and prices stayed relatively high. Meanwhile, the barging capacity at certain ports was affected by bad weather, which also depressed the sales.

China’s bonded bunker fuel exports inch down in Jan-Sept

China’s bonded bunker fuel exports edged down in the first nine months of this year, mainly because of a decline in domestic low-sulfur fuel oil (LSFO) output.

The country exported about a total of 15.24 million mt of bonded bunker fuel in January-September, a dip of 0.66% from the same months in 2022, JLC estimated, with reference to data from the General Administration of Customs of PRC (GACC).

Among the exports were 14.44 million mt of heavy bunker fuel and 802,600 mt of light bunker fuel, which accounted for 94.73% and 5.27% of the total, respectively.

Regarding the exports by supplier, enterprises with national bunkering licenses exported about 12.15 million mt of bonded bunker fuel in the nine months, accounting for 79.69%, while those with regional bunkering licenses supplied about 3.10 million mt, accounting for 20.31%.

Chinese refiners reduced their bonded bunker fuel exports in the first three quarters of this year, as domestic supply decreased amid falling LSFO production. Refineries lowered their LSFO output in the period when their production enthusiasm was greatly depressed by less considerable margins. The country produced about 11.10 million mt of LSFO in January-September, a cut of 5.45% year on year, JLC’s data shows.

In September alone, China’s bonded bunker fuel exports settled at 1.58 million mt, down by 2.79% from the previous month and 21.13% from a year earlier. Heavy bunker fuel exports amounted to 1.47 million mt, accounting for 92.73% of the total, while light bunker fuel exports stood at 115,200 mt, occupying 7.27%.

Suppliers with national bunkering licenses tallied approximately 1.18 million mt in the month, accounting for 74.23% of the country’s total, with Sinopec Fuel Oil and Chimbusco taking 64.35%. At the same time, enterprises with regional licenses exported about 408,300 mt, accounting for 25.77%.

JLC China Bunker Market Monthly Report (October 2023)
JLC China Bunker Market Monthly Report (October 2023)

Domestic-trade bunker fuel demand extends gains in October

Domestic-trade bunker fuel demand extended gains in October, because of post-holiday restocking.

Domestic-trade heavy bunker fuel demand settled at 400,000 mt in the month, rising by 40,000 mt or 12.12% month on month, JLC’s data shows. Some shipowners increased purchases after the holiday for the National Day, as they had run out of stockpiles. Meanwhile, high-sulfur fuel oil prices fell to a relatively low level, which also attracted buyers to make deals.

Domestic-trade light bunker fuel demand surged to 165,000 mt in October, growing by 25,000 mt or 19.23% from a month earlier, the data indicates. Downstream buyers showed higher buying interest when MGO prices rolled back. At the same time, shipping demand at inland ports increased, with coal transportation speeding up amid the heating season in North China.

Bunker Fuel Supply

China boosts its September bonded bunker fuel imports

China boosted its bonded bunker fuel imports month on month in September, as domestic low-sulfur fuel oil (LSFO) output decreased rapidly.

The country tallied about 389,800 mt of bonded bunker fuel imports in the month, surging by 27.18% month on month, JLC estimated, with reference to data from the General Administration of Customs of PRC (GACC).

Domestic refineries slowed down their LSFO production amid bad margins, leading refiners to import more bonded low-sulfur bunker fuel to meet demand. The country produced about 1.17 million mt of LSFO in the month, with the daily output dropping by 5.40% month on month to 39,000 mt, JLC’s data indicates. Meanwhile, some distributors expanded their bonded low-sulfur bunker fuel imports as more unit maintenance and export quota tightness triggered fears of a further decline in LSFO output in the fourth quarter.

Imports of high-sulfur bunker fuel and marine gas oil (MGO) largely stabilized at a normal level.

Russia surpassed Malaysia and became the largest supplier by shipping 214,000 mt of bonded bunker fuel to China, accounting for 54.9% of China’s total imports. Malaysia slipped to the second place with 61,800 mt, accounting for 15.9%, while Singapore ranked third with 60,900 mt, occupying 15.6%. Shipments from South Korea were reduced to only 53,100 mt, accounting for 13.6% and bringing the country to the fourth place.

On a year-on-year comparison, however, China’s bonded bunker fuel imports fell by 8.90%.

China’s bonded bunker fuel imports totaled 2.88 million mt in the first nine months of this year, plunging by 19.18% from the corresponding months in 2022, decelerating from a 20.58% slump in January-August.

JLC China Bunker Market Monthly Report (October 2023)

Domestic-trade bunker fuel supply continues to grow in October

Domestic-trade bunker fuel supply continued to grow in October, as blenders boosted production when their blending margins for bunker fuel were widened by a drop in blendstock prices.

Chinese blenders supplied about 450,000 mt of domestic-trade heavy bunker fuel in the month, a boost of 60,000 mt or 16.22% month on month, JLC’s data indicates.

Similarly, refineries ramped up their light bunker fuel production amid relatively fair margins. Domestic-trade marine gas oil (MGO) supply rose to 180,000 mt in October, an uplift of 20,000 mt or 11.76% from September.

JLC China Bunker Market Monthly Report (October 2023)

Bunker Prices, Profits

JLC China Bunker Market Monthly Report (October 2023)
JLC China Bunker Market Monthly Report (October 2023)
JLC China Bunker Market Monthly Report (October 2023)

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.

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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: 10 November, 2023

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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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Louis Reed from Unsplash

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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