'No Evidence' of Successful Los Angeles Bunker Price Manipulation: Platts

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Monday March 29, 2021

Price reporting agency S&P Global Platts has defended its price assessment methodology following a conspiracy to manipulate the market charge brought against a former oil trader in California.

Emilio Heredia pleaded guilty to a charge of manipulation of fuel oil prices in the Los Angeles bunker market in a San Francisco court last week.

"We note a former trader pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to manipulate the LA bunker market and certain S&P Global Platts assessments," Platts said in an emailed statement to Ship & Bunker.

"We have not seen evidence that any attempts to manipulate our assessments were successful or that our assessments did not reflect market value," the company added.

Heredia, along with others, attempted to artificially change fuel oil price assessments in order to profit from the arising differentials in price, it is alleged by the authorities.

The illegal activity was said to have taken place between 2012 and 2014 in the Los Angeles fuel oil market.  Heredia's guilty plea could mean a prison sentence and fine for the former trader.