More Ships Call at Singapore Port in August to Refuel

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Marine fuel sales in Singapore, the world’s largest bunkering hub, remained healthy in August due to lower oil prices that attracted more ships to refuel here.

Sales rose in August to 4.12 million tonnes, rising around 1.1 per cent compared with August last year, while matching July sales this year, industry sources and data from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) showed.

Straits times

August sales were higher than the year-to-date monthly average of around 3.9 million tonnes, according to calculations by The Straits Times.

MPA data also showed that 3,212 ships called here in August specifically to refuel, the highest since November, when a similar number of ships called at the port to bunker.

In July, 3,181 vessels stopped over in Singapore to load bunkers.

“We did more refuelling in Singapore last month, largely due to the lower prices, which have been impacted by the deep drop in crude oil prices,” said one senior marine fuels procurement manager.

“If the price is right, we will continue to refuel here in Singapore, where operationally, there is less downtime as opposed to loading elsewhere in the region.”

At the start of August, prices for low-sulphur shipping fuel were trading at around US$875 a tonne. They then dipped to as low as US$740 a tonne in the middle of the month and ended August at around US$742 a tonne.

In June, shipowners paid around US$1,000 a tonne for the cleaner and more environmentally friendly low-sulphur fuel.

In July, the fuel transacted between US$800 and US$900 a tonne, traders said.

Meanwhile, the sales of higher-sulphur marine fuel were marginally lower in August, at 1.2 million tonnes compared with 1.3 million tonnes in July.

This was largely due to the reduced number of physical suppliers selling this grade following the temporary exit of Glencore’s bunkering services in Singapore, said Mr Ivan Mathews, head of refining and global fuel oil service at consultancy FGE.

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Source: Straitstimes

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