ANALYSIS: Singapore Posts Best Ever February Bunker Sales

by Jack Jordan, Managing Editor, Ship & Bunker
Thursday March 14, 2024

Singapore has recoded its highest ever February bunker sales, according to preliminary data from the Maritime and Port Authority.

The city-state's total conventional and biofuel demand reached 4.48 million mt in February, up by 18.1% from the same month a year earlier.

The total was down by 8.4% from January's level, although readers should note that December and January's totals had been the highest and second-highest on record, respectively.

The previous highest February total was 4.16 million mt recorded in 2018.

February, being the shortest month and with sales often slowed by the break for lunar new year, nearly always sees the lowest monthly bunker slaes f the year. Even more impressive then that the total for February 2024 was the 8th highest monthly total ever recorded for any month. 

It is likely that the initial uncertainty of the Red Sea situation from November onwards has driven many container lines to buy bunkers for full voyages in Singapore as a precaution, but these firms are now adjusting their voyage plans to shift some of these purchases to ports around Africa and elsewhere as the situation stabilises.

2023's total reached 51.82 million mt, up by 8% from 2022. If the totals from the first two months of the year were to be replicated over the rest of 2024, this year's total for Singapore would reach 56.27 million mt.

Product Breakdown

VLSFO sales sank by 10.7% on the month to 2.55 million mt in February, HSFO declined by 3.5% to 1.6 million mt, distillates fell by 5.8% to 311,200 mt and biofuel blends dropped by 65.6% to 15,600 mt.

The biofuel blend total was the lowest since August 2022.

HSFO's share of the total was 35.8%, up from 30.1% the same month a year earlier.

Separately, LNG bunker sales jumped by 158.7% on the month to 26,900 mt in February, a record high, while no methanol sales were recorded.

Singapore has been including columns for biofuel blends, LNG and methanol sales since June 2023.

Bunker Calls Decline

The number of vessels calling at Singapore to bunker advanced on a yearly basis but declined on the month in February.

A total of 3,359 vessels came to Singapore's waters to bunker in February, down by 10.5% from January's record high.

That left the average conventional and biofuel bunker stem size last month at about 1,335 mt, compared with an average over the previous 12 months of 1,259 mt.


Singapore's average VLSFO price in February was $640/mt, up by 3.7% from January's level but down by 0.7% from the level seen a year earlier.

Ship & Bunker's G20-VLSFO Index of average prices across 20 leading bunkering ports gained 3.2% on the month but lost 1.3% on the year to $658/mt in February.

Bulker Visits Jump

The total gross tonnage visiting Singapore jumped by 11.3% on the year to 252.37 million mt in February. This advance was led by the bulker segment, where calls by gross tonnage gained 14.5 million mt. Container ship tonnage calls rose by 7.1 million mt, while tankers advanced by 1.8 million mt.

The mandatory mass flow meter systems used to measure all bunker deliveries in Singapore come with a +/-0.5% margin of error, a level considered more accurate than traditional measurement systems used at most other ports with the added benefit of all but eliminated volumetric malpractice.

Only licensed companies can supply bunkers in Singapore, and the MPA calculates sales based on the bunker delivery notes of those companies.