Panama November Bunker Demand Drops to 14-Month Low on Reduced Canal Capacity

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Thursday December 21, 2023

Marine fuel demand in Panama sank to the lowest level in 14 months in November as low water levels limited transits through its canal.

Panama's total sales reached 381,648 mt in November, according to preliminary data from the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP). The total was down by 7.5% from a year earlier, by 12% from October's level and the lowest monthly total since September 2022.

Singapore, the world's largest marine fuels hub, saw conventional and biofuel bunker sales decline by 2.6% on the year and by 2.9% on the month in November.

VLSFO sales in Panama lost 14.2% on the year to 254,343 mt in November. HSFO gained 1.5% to 76,327 mt, MGO rose by 8.2% to 7,681 mt and LSMGO jumped by 27.8% to 43,297 mt.

HSFO's share of the total was 20%, up from 18.2% a year earlier.

The number of ships coming to Panama to bunker declined by 14.7% on the year to 535 in November, taking the average stem size up by 8.4% to about 713 mt. Over the previous 12 months the average stem size was about 676 mt.

The VLSFO price at Balboa averaged $629/mt in November, according to Ship & Bunker data, down by 2.7% from October's level and by 8.4% from November 2022.

Singapore's average VLSFO price in November was $685.50/mt, up by 2.5% from October's level and by 0.7% from the level seen a year earlier.

Ship & Bunker's G20-VLSFO Index of average prices across 20 leading bunkering ports lost 0.7% on the month and 6.3% on the year to $668/mt in November.