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Panama bunker fuel sales volume drops by 4.5% on year in October 2023

Total bunker sales at Panama was 433,448 metric tonnes (mt) in October, compared to sales of 453,654 mt during the similar period in 2022, according to PMA data.





Bunker fuel sales at Panama fell by about 4.5% in October 2023, according to the latest data from La Autoridad Maritima de Panama, also known as the Panama Maritime Authority (PMA).

Total bunker sales at Panama was 433,448 metric tonnes (mt) in October, compared to sales of 453,654 mt during the similar period in 2022.

In October 2023, the Pacific side of Panama posted bunker sales of 363,242 mt; 238,632 mt of VLSFO, 90,755 mt of RMG 380, 3,622 of marine gas oil (MGO), and 30,233 mt of low sulphur marine gas oil (LSMGO) were delivered.

The similar region saw total marine sales of 349,482 mt a year before on October; with VLSFO sales at 244,771 mt, RMG 380 sales at 69,837 mt, MGO sales at 3,622 mt, and 31,252 mt of LSMGO being sold.

Panama’s Atlantic side, meanwhile, recorded total bunker fuel sales of 70,206 during October 2023; the figure comprised 58,529 mt of VLSFO, 3,430 mt of RMG 380, 1,002 mt of MGO, and 7,245 mt of LSMGO.

It saw total sales of 104,172 mt in October a year before; with VLSFO sales of 76,401 mt, RMG 380 sales of 13,612, 5,995 mt of MGO, and LSMGO sales of 8,164 mt.

Photo credit: George Keel
Published: 16 November, 2023

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Integr8: European VLSFO bunker fuel prices are worth watching

Research contributor Steve Christy explains what is behind the steep rise in European VLSFO prices relative to markets elsewhere in the world and where the Rotterdam VLSFO price may go in the coming weeks.





Integr8: European VLSFO bunker fuel prices are worth watching

By Steve Christy, Research Contributor, Integr8 Fuels
[email protected]  

22 February 2024       

Recent uptick in oil prices; but for temporary reasons

There are mixed signals driving the absolute price of oil at the moment, with a slightly more bullish push over the past two weeks. But, to put it in context, this recent uptick followed a sharp drop in prices at the end of January and into the first few days of February, when Brent crude fell from $82/bbl to $77/bbl. The ‘bullish’ push in the past two weeks has only brought Brent back to $82/bbl.

Looking at very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) prices in Singapore and Fujairah, these have traded in a narrow $25/mt range so far this month and are still lower than their end January levels (and $35-40/mt lower than average November prices). This is not the case in Rotterdam.

Integr8: European VLSFO bunker fuel prices are worth watching

Behind these price movements there have been some temporary bullish factors in the oil industry so far this year. Arctic weather conditions in North America shut in around 0.9 million b/d of oil production and halted around 1.7 million b/d refinery operations. At the same time, there have been planned, heavy maintenance programs in the Atlantic Basin refining industry running through January and into February. This again has restricted product availabilities and led to lower stock levels. But these are temporary issues!

On the bearish side, in recent reports we have focused on the weak prospects for oil demand this year, and this is still in play, especially when you look at the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) latest forecast for 2024. Also, gains in non-OPEC production look as though they will be high this year, and the recent cuts in OPEC+ production have been limited to only 0.2-0.3 million b/d from December levels. Therefore, the fundamentals for this year would indicate a ‘lid’ on prices. This, plus the ability of the industry to work around the attacks on Red Sea shipping, has so far superseded the heightened political events and risks in the Middle East region.

European VLSFO prices are ‘more exposed’

From the chart above, Rotterdam VLSFO prices have risen more steeply than in Singapore and Fujairah over the past two weeks. Rotterdam VLSFO prices are around $50/mt higher than in early February, and unlike the other major bunkering hubs, Rotterdam prices are higher than we have seen so far this year, and some $10/mt above their November average.

Back in November, Rotterdam VLSFO was priced at around $580/mt and Singapore at around $680/mt, i.e. a differential of $100/mt. Between then and now Singapore prices have fallen by $40, but Rotterdam prices have gone in the opposite direction and are around $10 higher. The net result is that the differential between the two markets has narrowed from $100- to $50/mt.









graph 2 (1)

VLSFO pricing related to middle distillate pricing

The nature of VLSFO means supply and price movements are closely related to what is happening in other products. The chart below shows the close relationship between Rotterdam VLSFO and NW European diesel prices.

graph 3 (2)

The European VLSFO market looks like it will only get tighter

Europe is naturally short in the middle distillates of jet, diesel, and gasoil and so highly dependent on imports. The European sector had already been under pressure since the embargo on Russian supplies. However, the situation has tightened even further with the attacks on shipping in the Red Sea. These latest developments have hit diesel and jet shipments from the Middle East and India to Europe, with a leap in freight costs, longer voyage times via the Cape of Good Hope and tighter market conditions in Europe.

This loss of these supplies from east to west has partly been made up by an increase in diesel exports from the US to Europe. However, this may be short-lived as US refinery turnarounds in the first quarter cut availabilities and potentially limit diesel exports. Hence, European diesel (and so VLSFO) prices are likely to rise relative to VLSFO markets elsewhere in the world.

To compound this even more, Ukraine drone attacks on Russian refineries may have affected operations and so diesel exports from the country. Although this will not have a direct impact on the European diesel position, there is an indirect consequence, with other buyers of Russian products left short and having to source supplies from elsewhere, which will be in direct competition with European buyers.

Add to this a number of major European refineries going into turnaround in the north and Med regions, and the market is potentially even tighter!

If this isn’t enough, then there is a further layer to add to the argument; and that is the current exceptionally low distillate stock levels in Europe. The graph below shows the five year high/low range for middle distillate stocks in Europe, and that for the past two years stocks have been well below their five year average. More importantly, over the past three months stocks have been below their previous five year lows, and this is at a stage when we expect the market to tighten even further.

graph 4 (1)

Whatever happens, Rotterdam VLSFO prices are likely to be relatively high

All else being equal (it never is!), the fundamentals point towards a more bearish oil market, but with this relative strengthening in European VLSFO prices.

Beyond the fundamentals, the geopolitical risks at the moment clearly lie in the Israel/Gaza position and developments surrounding Iran. But there are also a number of elections this year that will contribute to more uncertainty, not least in the US.

However, as things pan out, the European distillate market does look tight going forward and this would mean relatively higher VLSFO prices in Rotterdam, and Europe generally.


Photo credit: Integr8 Fuels
Published: 23 February, 2024

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Bunker Fuel

Baltic Exchange: Bunker Report (22 February, 2024)

Bunker report panellists include Island Oil Limited, Cockett Marine Oil Pte, Monjasa A/S, KPI OceanConnect and Transparensea Fuels.





Baltic Exchange: Bunker Report (22 February, 2024)

The following bunker report has been provided by freight market information provider Baltic Exchange for post on Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times:


All values are in US$/metric ton, all-in (invoice price), delivered on board
Delivery in 7-10 days
ISO 8217:2010
IFO 380 3.5% Sulphur
IFO 380 0.5% Sulphur
DMA 0.1% Sulphur

Rotterdam – Waalhaven – Maasvlakte range
Houston – Houston Harbor
Singapore – Anchorage, under SBA Scheme
Fujairah – Offshore Anchorage Area

Submitted weekly at Close of Business on Thursdays

Island Oil Limited, Cockett Marine Oil Pte, Monjasa A/S, KPI OceanConnect, Transparensea Fuels


Photo credit and source: Baltic Exchange
Published: 23 February, 2024

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Bunker Fuel

ENGINE: Americas Bunker Fuel Availability Outlook (22 Feb 2024)

Availability improves in Houston; bad weather could impact Zona Comun bunkering; tight availability off Trinidad.






The following article regarding bunker fuel availability in the Americas region has been provided by online marine fuel procurement platform ENGINE for post on Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times:

  • Availability improves in Houston
  • Bad weather could impact Zona Comun bunkering
  • Tight availability off Trinidad

North America

Bunker demand has been strong this week in Houston and several other ports along the US Gulf Coast. Availability of all fuel grades has improved this week for prompt supply in Houston. VLSFO and LSMGO grades are generally in good supply with suppliers in the Houston area. Most suppliers can deliver stems with lead times of 5-7 days. HSFO needs a longer lead time of more than seven days.

Availability of VLSFO and LSMGO has also improved for prompt dates in Bolivar Roads. However, deliveries are still subject to weather conditions and anchorage schedules, a source says. One supplier is able to deliver LSMGO stems in the area with a lead time of five days.

Calmer weather conditions in the Galveston Offshore Lightering Area (GOLA) have allowed suppliers to smoothly carry out bunker operations after previous bad weather-triggered disruptions. Nevertheless, strong wind gusts of up to 34 knots are forecast for Thursday, which could impact bunkering.

Some suppliers in GOLA can supply VLSFO and LSMGO grades with lead times of 4-5 days.

Demand has slowed in the West Coast ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, after demand rose last week. Lead times of more than seven days are generally recommended for VLSFO and LSMGO deliveries.

Suppliers are able to deliver LSMGO and VLSFO stems within 3-4 days of lead time in the East Coast port of New York.

Caribbean and Latin America

VLSFO and LSMGO prompt availability is normal in Panama’s Balboa and Cristobal. Several suppliers can offer stems within 3-5 days of lead time. Bunker demand has been low at both ports.

Prompt availability of VLSFO and LSMGO is tight off Trinidad. One supplier is unable to offer LSMGO and HSFO stems for delivery dates before 8 March.

Prompt VLSFO and LSMGO supply has remained very tight in Argentina’s Zona Comun. Strong wind gusts are forecast to hit the region over the weekend, which could cause prolonged delays and disruptions, a source says.

By Debarati Bhattacharjee


Photo credit and source: ENGINE
Published: 23 February 2024

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