Overview  |  Methodology  |   Individual Market Volumes & Commentary

Overview

Demand at key marine fuel hubs dropped by just over 6% in 2020 compared to 2019, according to a market survey of bunker sales volumes in 16 leading global bunkering locations

As in previous quarters, Ship & Bunker, in conjunction with consultancy BLUE Insight, surveyed bunker market participants around the world alongside official data where available and found an average drop of 8.1% in the fourth quarter from the same period of 2019. While this overall decline was slightly greater in percentage terms than the 7.9% drop witnessed in Q3, absolute volumes rose 4.1% sequentially to 31.8 million mt in Q4 compared to the 30.5 million mt sold across the 16 hubs in Q3.

As the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis gathered pace over the final quarter of the year, most all of the markets that saw sales decline in Q3 recorded an improvement in sales. But the two markets making big gains in Q3 - Singapore and Zhoushan with year-over-year gains of 10% and 43% respectively - in Q4 saw those gains paired to 5% and 15% respectively.

Readers should keep in mind that as unusual as 2020 has been, 2019 was unique in its own right thanks to the IMO 2020 rule. This was particularly so in 2019 Q4 as most vessels prepared to burn 0.50% sulfur fuels from January 1, 2020. The drop in demand for Q4 of 2020 is therefore not relative to a 'normal' year, but rather the unusually high IMO 2020-driven demand in Q4 of 2019.

For 2020 as a whole, overall demand declined by 6.3%, with volumes ostensibly flat in the first quarter followed by losses of 9.3%, 7.9% and 8.1%, respectively, in the following three. However, it is worth noting that the cruise industry was brought to a virtual standstill in 2020. The sector represents around 4% of global demand.

“What comes immediately to mind is that it could all have been a lot worse," says Adrian Tolson, director of BLUE Insight.

"From the dark days of April and May came a moderate demand recovery even through the Northern Hemisphere lockdowns later in 2020. Port demand damage fluctuated along with regional Covid outbreaks and also as impacts rotated between different shipping sectors.   Cruise ships took the earliest hit with practically no bunker activity in 2020. Containers quickly followed as supply chains fell apart and consumer demand became erratic, recovering as the year progressed to setting cargo (and possibly bunker) records in some major ports.  Dry Bulk and Tankers, both initially resilient, eventually had to deal with the impact of reduced demand for raw materials and a shrinking global economy.  

"2021 has a much more positive note, a return to normal, but likely not immediately.  Some supply locations will deal with continuing impacts for the rest of 2021 and some may never recover some of that last bunker demand - a global economic shock in combination with the eclipsed IMO 2020 transition has almost certainly changed some of the balance of power in the worlds bunkering ports.”

 

Methodology

The areas covered by the survey are Singapore, the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) hub, Fujairah, the US Gulf, South Korea, the Gibraltar Strait, Hong Kong, Panama, Zhoushan, Japan, New York, West Africa, South Africa, the Canary Islands, Los Angeles/Long Beach and Turkey.

Together these areas saw just over 126 million mt of demand in 2020, meaning they cover around half of current global demand.

But because the areas covered by the survey include some of the top bunkering areas in the world, the global drop shown is likely to be less steep than that seen for total demand. The effect of demand tending to congregate at bunkering hubs last year has left the world's smaller ports with sharper declines.

 

Individual Market Volumes & Commentary

Singapore

  • Q4 2020 XX.XX mt
  • Q4 2019 XX.XX mt
  • FY 2020 XX.XX mt
  • FY 2019 XX.XX mt

Individual market commentaries are only available to subscribers. Click here to learn more and get instant access from just $49. Existing subscribers can sign in here.

ARA

  • Q4 2020 XX.XX mt
    Q4 2019 XX.XX mt
    FY 2020 XX.XX mt
    FY 2019 XX.XX mt

Individual market commentaries are only available to subscribers. Click here to learn more and get instant access from just $49. Existing subscribers can sign in here.

 

Fujairah

  • Q4 2020 XX.XX mt
    Q4 2019 XX.XX mt
    FY 2020 XX.XX mt
    FY 2019 XX.XX mt

Individual market commentaries are only available to subscribers. Click here to learn more and get instant access from just $49. Existing subscribers can sign in here.

 

US Gulf

  • Q4 2020 XX.XX mt
    Q4 2019 XX.XX mt
    FY 2020 XX.XX mt
    FY 2019 XX.XX mt

Individual market commentaries are only available to subscribers. Click here to learn more and get instant access from just $49. Existing subscribers can sign in here.

 

Gibraltar Strait

  • Q4 2020 XX.XX mt
    Q4 2019 XX.XX mt
    FY 2020 XX.XX mt
    FY 2019 XX.XX mt

Individual market commentaries are only available to subscribers. Click here to learn more and get instant access from just $49. Existing subscribers can sign in here.

 

South Korea

  • Q4 2020 XX.XX mt
    Q4 2019 XX.XX mt
    FY 2020 XX.XX mt
    FY 2019 XX.XX mt

Individual market commentaries are only available to subscribers. Click here to learn more and get instant access from just $49. Existing subscribers can sign in here.

 

Zhoushan

  • Q4 2020 XX.XX mt
    Q4 2019 XX.XX mt
    FY 2020 XX.XX mt
    FY 2019 XX.XX mt

Individual market commentaries are only available to subscribers. Click here to learn more and get instant access from just $49. Existing subscribers can sign in here.

 

Hong Kong

  • Q4 2020 XX.XX mt
    Q4 2019 XX.XX mt
    FY 2020 XX.XX mt
    FY 2019 XX.XX mt

Individual market commentaries are only available to subscribers. Click here to learn more and get instant access from just $49. Existing subscribers can sign in here.

 

Panama

  • Q4 2020 XX.XX mt
    Q4 2019 XX.XX mt
    FY 2020 XX.XX mt
    FY 2019 XX.XX mt

Individual market commentaries are only available to subscribers. Click here to learn more and get instant access from just $49. Existing subscribers can sign in here.

 

Japan

  • Q4 2020 XX.XX mt
    Q4 2019 XX.XX mt
    FY 2020 XX.XX mt
    FY 2019 XX.XX mt

Individual market commentaries are only available to subscribers. Click here to learn more and get instant access from just $49. Existing subscribers can sign in here.

 

New York

  • Q4 2020 XX.XX mt
    Q4 2019 XX.XX mt
    FY 2020 XX.XX mt
    FY 2019 XX.XX mt

Individual market commentaries are only available to subscribers. Click here to learn more and get instant access from just $49. Existing subscribers can sign in here.

 

Turkey

  • Q4 2020 XX.XX mt
    Q4 2019 XX.XX mt
    FY 2020 XX.XX mt
    FY 2019 XX.XX mt

Individual market commentaries are only available to subscribers. Click here to learn more and get instant access from just $49. Existing subscribers can sign in here.

 

Los Angeles/Long Beach

  • Q4 2020 XX.XX mt
    Q4 2019 XX.XX mt
    FY 2020 XX.XX mt
    FY 2019 XX.XX mt

Individual market commentaries are only available to subscribers. Click here to learn more and get instant access from just $49. Existing subscribers can sign in here.

 

West Africa

  • Q4 2020 XX.XX mt
    Q4 2019 XX.XX mt
    FY 2020 XX.XX mt
    FY 2019 XX.XX mt

Individual market commentaries are only available to subscribers. Click here to learn more and get instant access from just $49. Existing subscribers can sign in here.

 

Canary Islands

  • Q4 2020 XX.XX mt
    Q4 2019 XX.XX mt
    FY 2020 XX.XX mt
    FY 2019 XX.XX mt

Individual market commentaries are only available to subscribers. Click here to learn more and get instant access from just $49. Existing subscribers can sign in here.

 

South Africa

  • Q4 2020 XX.XX mt
    Q4 2019 XX.XX mt
    FY 2020 XX.XX mt
    FY 2019 XX.XX mt

Individual market commentaries are only available to subscribers. Click here to learn more and get instant access from just $49. Existing subscribers can sign in here.