BUNKERWORLD INDEX: Prices firm amid mixed outlook for marine markets
30th April 2021 14:39 GMT

Bunkerworld index prices made steady gains in the week ending April 30, as strength in the wider oil complex outweighed instances of stable to bearish sentiment in marine fuel markets.

The Bunkerworld 0.5%S fuel oil pricing index ended April 29 at $509/mt, up by $5/mt on the day and by $17/mt on the week and $21/mt higher than 30 days previously.

The BW380 index, which represents value for 3.5%S FO, ended April 29 at $407/mt, an increase of $4.50/mt on the day and of $9/mt on the week and $13/mt higher than 30 days previously.

"Oil demand is recovering well in the US, Europe and China, but a surge in new COVID-19 cases in India is of concern. New restrictions in India could see global demand contract by 200,000 to 400,000 b/d this year," ANZ Research analysts stated in an April 30 note.

Bunker markets may feel the effect of changing blendstock. Blending components associated with motor and aviation fuels made their presence felt in 0.5% sulfur marine fuel through 2020, resulting in instances of instability and limited shelf life, but with road fuel demand strengthening as lockdowns ease in some locations the marine fuel could be seeing changes in its make-up.

"As 2020 started the viscosity was higher, but still lower than high sulfur fuel oil, it then dropped from above 100 CST to the 0-80 CST range," Joshua Townley, Market Specialist Marine - EMEA at chemicals research and manufacturing firm Innospec Fuel Specialties, told S&P Global Platts April 29.

"If this trend is connected to higher oil demand then we can expect it to last beyond this year, maybe for the next three years," Townley said.

In China, market sources attributed weak prices at Zhoushan to ample supply, especially from domestic refineries, a trend which could remain in place for the meantime

The Northwest European bunkers market was expected to watch oil prices closely in the coming week, after a bullish end to trading activities on April 29. Market participants in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp bunkering hub were expecting buying appetite for bunker fuel to pick up in the following weeks.

Bunker prices in the Americas are being supported mainly by the persistent advance in global oil more than on local fundamentals, according to market sources. In Panama, however, higher demand has also contributed to the strengthening, with 0.5%S reaching levels last seen in mid-April.

The BW Indexes are weighted daily indexes made up of price assessments at 20 key bunkering ports. To obtain a representative geographical spread, the ports were selected by size with reference to their geographical importance.

The BW0.5%S Index ports are Hong Kong, South Korea, Shanghai, Singapore, Japan, Las Palmas, Durban, Fujairah, Gibraltar, Piraeus, Rotterdam, St. Petersburg, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Balboa and Santos.

The BW380 Index ports are Busan, Canary Islands, Colombo, Durban, Fujairah, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Offshore Nigeria, Panama Canal, Piraeus, Rotterdam, Santos, Shanghai, Singapore, St. Petersburg, Suez and Tokyo.

Click here to see prices: https://www.bunkerworld.com

Platts ,
30th April 2021 14:39 GMT