S&B ANALYSIS: Singapore April Bunker Sales Gain 13.4% on Year

by Jack Jordan, Managing Editor, Ship & Bunker
Monday May 15, 2023

Conventional bunker sales volumes in Singapore, the world's largest marine fuels hub, climbed by 13.4% on the year in April as bunker calls rose to a two-year high.

The city-state's total demand reached 4.25 million mt in April, according to preliminary data from the Maritime and Port Authority. The total was up by 13.4% from the same month a year earlier, by 1.9% from March's level and the highest monthly figure since January.

Product Breakdown

VLSFO sales jumped by 5% on the month to 2.71 million mt in April, HSFO declined by 4% to 1.2 million mt, distillates slipped by 0.9% to 327,400 mt and other fuels rallied by 3.4% to 33,300 mt.

HSFO's share of the total was 27.9%, up from 25.1% the same month a year earlier.

The niche LNG bunker market in Singapore sank last year, seeing total sales fall to 16,000 mt in 2022 from 50,000 mt the previous year, but LNG sales are not yet being included in the monthly figures. Biofuel blend sales are also being carried out -- reaching a total of 140,000 mt last year -- but are not included in the monthly data.

Bunker Calls Jump to Two-Year High

The number of vessels calling at Singapore to bunker advanced on both a monthly and yearly basis in April.

A total of 3,495 vessels came to Singapore's waters to bunker in April, the most since January 2021. The total was up by 15.1% on the year and 0.6% from March's level.

That left the average stem size last month at about 1,217 mt, compared with an average over the previous 12 months of 1,262 mt.


Singapore's average VLSFO price in April was $607.50/mt, according to Ship & Bunker data, up by 4.2% from March's level but down by 29% from the level seen a year earlier. Ship & Bunker's G20-VLSFO Index of average prices across 20 leading bunkering ports gained 1% on the month and lost 31% on the year to $626.50/mt in April.

Bulker Visits Climb

The total gross tonnage visiting Singapore jumped by 14.9% on the year to 259.3 million mt in April. This advance was led by the bulker segment, where calls by gross tonnage gained 16.3 million mt. Boxship tonnage calls rose by 12.6 million mt, while tankers advanced by 4.2 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.