Sales of marine fuel in Singapore, including sales of liquefied natural gas and biofuels, fell 4.3% year-on-year to 47.9 million tonnes in 2022, official data showed on Friday. Total bunker sales in the world’s largest bunkering hub eased as macroeconomic headwinds weighed on overall ship refuelling demand in Singapore, industry sources said, reports Nasdaq.
Bunkering sales of low-sulphur fuel oils (LSFO) were down 8.3% from the previous year to 30.1 million tonnes in 2022, Reuters calculations based on data from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) showed.
Total high-sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) sales for bunkering were up 6.2% from the previous year to 13.7 million tonnes in 2022, while sales of marine gasoils (MGO) dipped 6.2% to 3.8 million tonnes in 2022.
Bunker sales of biofuel blends reached 140,000 tonnes with more than 90 biofuel bunkering operations completed in Singapore, surpassing bunker sales of liquefied natural gas (LNG) which totalled 16,000 tonnes, the MPA said.
Meanwhile, container throughput in Singapore was 37.3 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2022, easing slightly from a record high container throughput of 37.6 million TEUs in 2021.
A total of 577.7 million tonnes of cargo was handled in 2022, with vessel arrival tonnage hitting 2.83 billion gross tonnage (GT).
There were a total of 37,662 vessel calls for bunkering in Singapore in 2022, down from 39,447 calls in 2021, the MPA data showed.
LSFO market share falls while HSFO rises
The market share of LSFO for bunkering in Singapore contracted from 65.8% in 2021 to 62.8% in 2022, while the market share of HSFO rose from 25.8% in 2021 to 28.5% in 2022.
Some shippers opted for high-sulphur grades as more scrubber-installed vessels came online, with the trend expected to continue into 2023.
“The proportion of HSFO bunker demand compared to LSFO is likely to increase in 2023 as more scrubber-fitted vessels enter the market,” said Ivan Mathews, head of FGE’s Asia Refining and Global Fuel Oil Service.
Higher prices of LSFO have prompted more uptake of HSFO by shippers. The price premium of LSFO over HSFO averaged at $233 a tonne in 2022, nearly doubling from an average of $115 in 2021, Refinitiv data showed.
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