Singapore’s bunker fuel sales in November rose 4% on the year to 4.08 million mt, data from Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority released Friday showed.
Firm demand for the low sulfur bunker grade had boosted overall sales, with more shippers procuring cleaner fuel ahead of IMO 2020, market sources said.
“The market has changed a lot in Q4, we saw a lot of demand being diverted from 380 CST to 0.5% sulfur bunkers,” a Singapore bunker supplier said.
November sales climbed 8% from October sales, mainly led by a jump in sales of low sulfur fuel oil and marine gasoil, the MPA data showed.
“Most of our vessels are burning LSFO now… we still take some high sulfur fuel oil, but in smaller stems,” a Singapore bunker purchaser said.
LSFO 380 CST sales in November rose 182% on the month to 1.29 million mt, while 380 CST HSFO sales fell 33% to 1.52 million mt, the MPA data showed.
Low sulfur MGO sales rose 27% on the month to 374,400 mt in November, hitting its highest monthly sales this year.
The uptrend in low sulfur bunker demand is expected to peak in December, with less than a few weeks to go before the 0.5% sulfur mandate kicks in.
“The market has climbed so crazily in just a couple of weeks, from a discount [in November] to a premium now [in December],” a Singapore bunker trader said, referring to delivered 0.5% bunker differentials over the Mean of Platts Singapore 10ppm sulfur gasoil assessments.
The spot bunker differential for delivered marine fuel 0.5% at Singapore flipped to a premium over MOPS 10 ppm gasoil for the first time this week, S&P Global Platts data showed.
Meanwhile, the number of arrivals for bunkering at Singapore in November rose 9% on the year to 3,537, the MPA data showed.