Bunker markets in Panama see strong hikes on supply curbs from US Gulf Coast
23rd February 2021 07:17 GMT

With activity on the Gulf Coast still impacted by cold weather and power outages in the week ended Feb. 20, the bunker market in Panama has been experiencing supply constraints that have pushed up fuel pricing.

Marine fuel 0.5%S in Balboa was valued at $518/mt ex-wharf, up $21 on the day, after a bid was withdrawn at that level during the Platts Market on Close assessment process. Previous indications were heard at up to $520/mt.

“Everything is very complicated. Supply has tightened a lot and has triggered higher levels, especially for deliveries in the next 5-10 days,” a market source said.

Marine gasoil in the port was valued at $580/mt, a $15 increase on the day, while high sulfur IFO 380 rose $5 to $390/mt, with indications at up to $395/mt.

“The pricing for Inventories has appreciated a lot due to this uncertainty about resupply,” the source said. Panama imports most of its bunker fuels from the US Gulf Coast.

The Panamanian market was also supported Feb. 22 by increasing prices in the energy complex.

ICE April Brent futures contract rose $2.41/b, or $18.29/mt, to $65.26/b, with US refineries just beginning to restart following last week’s severe weather in Texas. On the US Gulf Coast, wholesale 0.5%S climbed $13.74/mt to $483/mt, while NYMEX March ULSD climbed 3.57 cents/gal, or $11.17/mt, to $1.8586/gal.

Market sources said in the week to Feb. 20, the hub was also absorbing some bunkers demand from the one that wasn’t being able to be supplied in Houston.

Sales of bunkers in Panama have been solid in the last two months. Total bunker sales in January declined less than 1% from December, to 409,767 mt. However, they still were 14.2% lower than in January 2020, according to data from the Panama Maritime Authority.

Platts ,
23rd February 2021 07:17 GMT