Bunker sales at Singapore port marginally fell by 2.3% on year in June 2020, according to Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) data.
The current market development was in line with earlier market expectations, according to industry experts providing commentary to Manifold Times.
“The downtrend in volume for the month of May and June have already been forecasted and we expect the uptrend, if any, to start from August onwards,” shared Simon Neo, Executive Director at marine fuels consultancy SDE International.
Neo, who considered demand for bunkers at Singapore to be “weak” in June, offered an explanation for the lower sales volumes despite the 1.8% increase in vessel arrival figures (by number) where a total 6,701 ships visited Singapore port in June compared to 6,582 vessels in May.
“Oil prices have gone up since April and the incentive is no more there for shipowners who have already stocked up on fuel in the earlier part of 2020 to build more inventories at this point of time,: he said.
“Furthermore, the global economy is still seen as very weak. Though market has opened from lockdown, it is still done in a cautious manner and everybody is worried of a second wave of the pandemic.
“Moving forward, any recovery will be slow as we head towards year end. Optimistically, we may see Singapore bunker sales improve from August due to increased import and export activity coming from preparations for the year end festive season. July’s bunker sales volume is expected to be similar to May and June.”
Dennis Ho, Director & Founder of Azure Strategic Resources, meanwhile painted a more positive picture.
“Considering we are in an unprecedented global pandemic crisis, June figures, dipping by just around 3% compared to May or compared to the same period last year overall has shown bunker demand is still quite resilient,” he notes.
“The dip in demand can also be attributed to the continued increase in prices. From May to June, prices have gone up by 18%.
“If this trend continues, demand for the year would have dipped by around 4.5% compared to 2019; a figure higher than the 8% estimated earlier in the year.
“Going forward, I expect demand to gradually increase towards the end of the year.”
Singapore bunker volume in June 2020
A total 3.83 million metric tonnes (mt) (exact: 3,829,000 mt) of bunkers was sold at the port in June, less than 3.92 million mt (exact: 3,919,900 mt) posted during June 2019.
Deliveries of 500 centistokes (cSt), 380 cSt and 180 cSt grades in June 2020 (against on year), were respectively 58,800 mt (-91.8% from 717,100 mt), 744,700 mt (-73.2% from 2.78 million mt), while 180 cSt product recorded no sales (-100% from 30,100 mt).
Low sulphur 500 cSt, 380 cSt and 180 cSt products respectively recorded 56,800 mt sales (compared to zero), 1.93 million mt (significantly up from 24,800 mt), and 48,100 mt (+9.4% from 43,600 mt).
The latest data introduced new categories, namely low sulphur 100 cSt, and ULSFO respectively recorded 616,600 mt and 59,800 mt of sales in June.
Low sulphur marine gas oil (LS MGO) sales were posted at 254,000 mt (+10.5% from 230,800 mt) and MGO at 56,200 mt (-2.4% from 54,900 mt).
Related: Bunker fuel sales dipped 2% at Singapore port in May, experts provide opinion and forecast
Related: Marine fuel consultants explain Singapore’s 10.8% on year bunker sales increase in April
Related: Singapore: March 2020 bunker fuel sales rise 5.7% on year
Related: Singapore: February 2020 bunker sales volume up 2.5% on year
Related: Singapore: January 2020 bunker sales volume up 7.5% on year
Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 14 July, 2020
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