This represents the highest volume of monthly sales that the world’s largest bunkering destination has notched up since January 2020.
A move to restock product, both by suppliers and end-users, in the new year after running down inventory ahead of the financial year-end typically lifts bunker sales in January.
A rise in sales last month was led by an increased uptake of both the IMO-compliant low sulfur bunker fuel as well as the erstwhile mainstay high sulfur bunker fuel.
Sales of high sulfur bunker fuel — which includes 180 CST, 380 CST and 500 CST bunker fuel — surged 47.9% year on year to 1.13 million mt, the highest monthly volume at the port since global marine fuels market transitioned in January 2020 from high sulfur fuel oil to bunker fuel with a maximum sulfur limit of 0.5%S to adhere with the IMO 2020 mandate.
Sales of high sulfur bunker fuel in January, which accounted for a shade above 25% of total sales, was also up 10.9% from 1.02 million mt in December 2020, the data showed.
As the cost economics to carry on maintaining storage and delivery infrastructure to meet a small volume of HSFO demand has become increasingly unfeasible, relatively smaller regional bunkering hubs have shifted away from HSFO to focus on low sulfur marine fuel, which has benefited Singapore, market sources have said.
Sales of low sulfur marine fuel, which includes the LSFO grades 100 CST, 180 CST, 380 CST and 500 CST, was up 2% from Dec. 2020 to 2.99 million mt, accounting for two-thirds, or 66.5%, of the total sales. Low sulfur bunker fuel sales, however, fell 3.8% from the 3.11 million mt in January 2020, the data showed.
The number of vessels that called Singapore for bunkering in January rose 6.4% month on month to 3,593, while vessel arrivals for bunkering stood at 3,591 in January 2020.