HSFO bunker barge availability tight in Singapore after typhoons delay vessels
8th October 2020 21:21 GMT

The availability of bunkering barges is limited in Singapore amid vessel delays following two recent typhoons in Japan and South Korea, market sources said Oct. 8.

“Due to the recent typhoons in Japan and South Korea, several ships were delayed and missed their barging dates, so we are not able to offer anything for prompt dates at the moment,” a Singapore-based bunker trader said.

At least two key HSFO bunker suppliers said their earliest deliveries were currently from Oct. 20. Vessel delays have also impacted other bunker fuel grades, but to a lesser extent, market sources said.

“All bunker fuel grades are affected by the ship delays, but in terms of hardware, there are fewer barges in the HSFO segment,” another Singapore-based bunker trader said.

Most LSFO and LSMGO bunker suppliers said they could offer deliveries from Oct. 12.

“We are seeing a huge jam for our HSFO orders because of tight supply previously and now with the vessel delays. For LSFO and LSMGO, the impact of the delays is very slight,” a Singapore-based bunker supplier said.

Demand for high sulfur bunker fuel has been largely stable since the transition to cleaner fuels under the IMO 2020 mandate that kicked in Jan. 1 and has picked up since June as more vessels completed scrubber installations.

Scrubbers, designed to remove sulfur oxides from the ship's engine and boiler exhaust gases, enable ships to use heavy fuel oil since the emissions will be reduced to the required sulfur limit.

Suppliers in Singapore have seen a slight uptick in HSFO inquiries since June from shipowners amid scrubber completions.

"There has been also been an increase in HSFO inquiries from shipowners that have been impacted by the crew change restrictions in the region. Singapore is also one of the few ports that is still supplying HSFO bunkers regularly," a third Singapore-based bunker trader said.

Sales of marine fuel oil 380 CST rose 4.7% month on month to 971,700 mt in August, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore data showed, marking the third consecutive month that sales for the grade increased, and a year-to-date high. September data is due for release Oct. 13.

S&P Global Platts last assessed Singapore-delivered IFO 380 CST bunker fuel up $2/mt day on day at $263/mt Oct. 7.

Platts ,
8th October 2020 21:21 GMT