Panama Reports Rising Bunker Volumes, But Local Players Say Demand Remains Weak

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Monday September 14, 2015

The Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) has reported a further rise in bunker sales volumes, with numbers for July the best of the year so far.

Official data shows that in July there was a total of 2,253,850.87 barrels - about 310,000 metric tonnes (mt) - sold across the two coasts, just ahead of the year's previous best of 2,234,162.32 barrels which was sold in May.

Although the June total was less than the neighbouring months, the 1,878,292.04 barrels reported for the month - about 258,000 mt - still represented a 43 percent increase year-on-year.

The July total represented even greater growth of 61 percent year-on-year, but this year's most pronounced increase came in January, with the 2,204,860.43 barrels of sales reported for the month representing a doubling of monthly volumes year-on-year. 

The big increase seems at odds with reports from local players, which Ship & Bunker reported last month was said to be lower than usual, and some sources have told Ship & Bunker it was possible the numbers were a product of improved data collection methods rather than a jump in actual sales.

"If there has been an increase in volume we certainly haven't seen it," an established player told Ship & Bunker.

"I think it's more likely to be that since the new government came in they've been tougher on getting the data."

Juan Carlos Varela and the Panameñista Party came into power on July 1, 2014.

Last month Ship & Bunker reported bunker prices in Panama were under pressure from too much competition.