The recent drop in VLSFO viscosity has been a talked about topic. It is the result of more distillate making its way into the VLSFO blending pool. Having analysed over 15,000 VLSFO test results, viscosity was found to have dropped by over 35% between November 2019 and March 2020, from 160cst to 100cst.Read More
VLSFO quality remains a headline IMO2020 topic. As suppliers are getting
more experienced at producing VLSFO blends, the proportion of off-spec tests has been declining, although certain quality concerns remain. One of these is the reduction in viscosity, which is due to more distillate blending. This has resulted in vessels being required to adjust age old practices in order to handle and consume the fuel and moreover requires a change in tact when procuring bunkers. The choice of fuel is often limited, however checking quality before buying is as important as ever in order to minimise the risk of claims.
The absolute price of bunkers has fallen sharply since the start of the year, largely inline with the fall in crude. The easing of Middle East tensions, higher oil stocks, and now, far more significantly, the impact and uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus have meant oil prices have dropped. Correspondingly, representative VLSFO prices East of Suez are down from around $750/ton in early January towards $500/ton currently, a drop of some 25-35%.
It has been over a month since the IMO2020 regulation came into force and there are mixed views on how the transition has gone so far. Some participants claim the switch has gone smoothly, while others highlight the constant quality issues with the VLSFO blends.Read More
In our last research note in December we pointed out that the differential between quoted prices for MGO and VLSFO in Singapore had fallen from $75/ton to only $10/ ton over a couple of months. This squeeze in the MGO/VLSFO differential is now commonplace in all the main bunkering centres.Read More
We are clearly well into the IMO 2020 transition; changes in bunker infrastructure, availabilities and pricing are all having a major impact, posing challenges to bunker buyers and these are not going to go away quickly.Read More
For many years buying bunker fuel has mostly been about getting the best quoted price and avoiding quality issues. This is as topical today, particularly going into 2020.
Buying the best quoted price, however, does not necessarily mean buying the cheapest fuel. One fuel property that often gets overlooked is net calorific value (will simply refer to as calorific value going forward), which shows how much energy is produced by combusting the fuel.Read More
There will be a series of changes in bunker markets as we go through either side of the January 1st IMO 2020 implementation date, and recent price move- ments in HSFO is clear evidence the process is well underway.Read More
Compatibility of residual bunker fuels has always been relevant. Mixing fuels onboard is often considered bad practice, however it is generally unavoidable.
VLSFO’s sensitivity to mixing will likely result in more cases of incompatibility, affecting suppliers and owners alike.Read More
Recently pricing in the bunker market has been heavily disrupted, particularly in Singapore and Europe, because of logistical issues associated with switching over supply infrastructure to the new low sulphur fuels from HSFO. However, thus far, globally volumes sold and the proportion of volumes sold by fuel type, have remained relatively stable, except for Latin America.Read More
- Fuel oil tightness means shipowners pay more for bunkers in ARA
- Market Intelligence Podcast – Oil fundamentals and impact on the bunker market
- Market Intelligence Podcast – Episode 15
- Oil Fundamentals are tightening and prices rising, but if and when will we see $400 or even $500 VLSFO Prices
- Market Intelligence Podcast – Episode 14