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Maersk: Bunker costs in Q3 2018 were 63% higher on year

16 Nov 2018

Maersk, the largest container ship and supply vessel operator in the world, spent 63% more on bunkers in the third quarter (Q3) of 2018 when compared to the previous year due to rising prices of marine fuel.

It spent USD $1.318 billion on bunkers in Q3 2018, 63% higher when compared to USD $809 million in Q3 2017; the average bunker price it recorded was $452 per metric tonne (pmt) in Q3 2018, an increase of 47% from $307 pmt in the similar quarter last year.

Total bunker consumption in Q3 2018 was 2,915,000 mt, up 10.6% from 2,636,000 mt in Q3 2017.

Rotterdam bunker prices were 44% higher in Q3 2018 compared to Q3 2017, and 5.5% higher compared to Q2 2018.

“The bunker cost, if we look at it year on year, we're 47% higher than they were in the Q3 of 2017,” said Vincent Clerc, Chief Commercial Officer at Maersk.

“That represents $127 per FFE (Forty Foot container Equivalent unit). And if we look at it year-on-year, we've been managed to increase our freight rate by $100 per FFE.
“So good progress, but we are not yet fully compensated for the increase that we have had in fuel costs and that remains a key focus area going forward.”

Forward markets indicate that bunker prices will increase by a further 4.9% in Q4 2018 compared to Q3 2018, notes Maersk, which adds forward market pricing pointing to a 20% decline in bunker prices by Q4 2019.

“The anticipated decline is driven by a wider bunker-crude oil spread, reflecting the market’s view of the impact of the IMO 2020 sulphur regulations on demand for high sulphur bunker fuels.”

Maersk recorded net profit of USD $360 million in Q3 2018, recovering from net loss of USD $1.5 billion in Q3 2017.

Revenue generated in Q3 2018 was USD $10.08 billion in Q3, 30.6% up from revenue of USD $7,71 billion in the similar quarter last year.

Photo credit: Maersk
Published: 16 November, 2018


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