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Ship & Bunker Benchmark Bunker Prices: Our Methodology

For each port we cover, Ship & Bunker's Benchmark Bunker Prices combine daily indications that our in-house team personally collect from select local and global physical bunker suppliers, traders, and brokers. This data is used to determine how spot bunker prices in each market have moved and to calculate the average spot price being indicated for each available product. Daily average prices are a linear average of all price indications data for a product in a given market. The high/low price indicated reflects the range of those indications. We do not currently make any assessment of where we believe spot market levels should be.

We believe our methodology and unique blend of data sources provides readers with the most realistic overview of the how the market is being indicated by market participants.

Price indications are updated Monday to Friday excluding days when markets are closed for holidays. For example, most global markets are not open on New Year's Day or Christmas Day. Many markets also have regional holidays. For continuity of data, price indications for market holidays typically reflect those from the previous day. Prices are input throughout the market day so may change during this time. On occasion, indications may be added up to 24 hours after the end of a given market day where appropriate.

Note also that in some markets price levels do not change daily. For example, ports where sales volumes are low, or local rules mean there are official posted prices, may be updated weekly, bi-monthly, etc.

All indications are quoted in USD per metric tonne and based on typical quantities of 500 mt for fuel oil and 100 mt for distillates.


Understanding Bunker Price Indications

Even within a single market or port, there are many factors that determine the price that a buyer pays for bunkers. This includes:

  • The volume of bunkers being purchased - indications are for a "typical" stem of 500mt of fuel oil and 100 mt of distillate, but remember that in some ports larger volumes don't always attract a better price per tonne!
  • The delivery date - more notice can, but doesn't always mean a better price
  • The reputation and other credit considerations of the buyer - higher risk counterparties can generally expect to pay more
  • When the deal can be made - sometimes better deals can be had if, for example, a trader or broker needs to make up volumes to fill their quota.
  • Who is part of the sales chain - going direct doesn't guarantee the lowest price

Bunker price indications reflect the current sport market. Readers should be aware that buyers whose operational profile allows can also purchase fuel on contract. These deals can often involve larger volumes, longer supply periods, and multiple vessels, so the pricing dynamic of such agreements can be different to fuel obtained in the sport market. The terms of such supply contracts are almost always kept private and confidential and do not feature in assessments for spot price indications.

For these, and other considerations, Ship & Bunker Prices can not be taken as a price guarantee.


LNG Bunker Price Indications

LNG prices per metric tonne cannot be compared directly to oil bunker prices because the fuels have differing energy densities. To make simple comparisons possible, Ship & Bunker express LNG prices in terms of the energy equivalent of one tonne of conventional oil bunkers.

LNG-380e is the price for an amount of LNG that delivers the energy equivalent of one metric tonne of IFO380 bunker fuel.

LNG-MGOe is the price for an amount of LNG that delivers the energy equivalent of one metric tonne of MGO.

At present, LNG bunker price indications from suppliers tend to be quoted on either an energy basis or a metric tonne basis. In the case of LNG bunker prices in Europe provided thanks to our collaboration with Titan LNG, source pricing is quoted in Euro/mt.

All conversions are made using the following values:

  • 40.6 GJ / mt for IFO380 (11.81  MWh/mt)
  • 42.5 GJ / mt for MGO (11.28 MWh/mt)
  • A net calorific value (LHV) for LNG of 14.01 MWh / mt
  • Currency conversions are made at the prevailing rate as per XE.com

Example LNG Bunker Price Conversions

Example LNG-IFO380 equivalent based on a EUR/MT price:

  1. Price per metric tonnes LNG delivered: 450 Euro/MT
  2. Convert to MWh price: 450 / 14.01 (LNG NCV/LHV)= 32.13 Euro/MWh
  3. Convert to USD: 32.13 * 1.198 = $38.49 $/MWh
  4. Cost per IFO380 equivalent = $38.49*11.28 = 434.10 $/mt IFO380 Equivalent

Example LNG-MGO equivalent based on a EUR/MT price:

  1. Price per metric tonnes LNG delivered: 450 Euro/MT
  2. Convert to MWh price: 450 / 14.01 (LNG NCV/LHV)= 32.13 Euro/MWh
  3. Convert to USD: 32.13 * 1.198 = $38.49 $/MWh
  4. Cost per MGO equivalent = $38.49*11.81 = 454.42 $/mt MGO Equivalent

Example of the LNG-380e calculation for prices that are quoted at source per MMBTU:

  1. Commodity: $C 3.025/GJ ($US 2.41/MMBTU)
  2. Liquefaction Service: $C 4.51/GJ
  3. Total: $C 7.535/GJ
  4. Cost per IFO380 Equivalent: 40.6 x 7.535 = $C 305.92
  5. Convert to USD: 305.92 / 1.317 = $232.29
  6. Convert to NCV: $232.29 x 1.091 = $253.43 per metric tonne equivalent

Example of the LNG-MGO calculation for prices that are quoted at source per MMBTU:

  1. Commodity: $C 3.025/GJ ($US 2.41/MMBTU)
  2. Liquefaction Service: $C 4.51/GJ
  3. Total: $C 7.535/GJ
  4. Cost per IFO380 Equivalent: 42.5 x 7.535 = $C 320.24
  5. Convert to USD: 320.24 / 1.317 = $243.16
  6. Convert to NCV: $232.29 x 1.091 = $265.28 per metric tonne equivalent