S&B ANALYSIS: Singapore Bunker Sales Decline on Year

by Jack Jordan, Managing Editor, Ship & Bunker
Tuesday December 14, 2021

Bunker demand in Singapore, the world's largest marine fuels hub, declined on both a yearly and monthly basis in November.

The city-state's total demand slipped to 4.2 million mt in November, according to preliminary data from the Maritime and Port Authority, down by 1% from the same month a year earlier and by 0.8% from October's level.

VLSFO sales fell by 1.5% on the month to 2.7 million mt, HSFO gained 0.9% to 1.2 million mt, distillates lost 6.4% to 325,500 mt and other fuels nearly doubled to 38,100 mt. HSFO's share of the total was 28.2%, up from 27.8% the previous month.

The niche LNG bunker market in Singapore is starting to grow this year, but has not yet been included in the official figures.

Cooling Off

The demand figures show signs of a cooling-off after a strong month of sales in October. October's total was a five-month high, and saw the biggest month-on-month improvement since July 2020.

Singapore's year-to-date total was 45.8 million mt, up by 0.6% from the same period a year earlier and looking likely to beat last year's total of 49.8 million mt once December's figures are added.

There were 3,211 vessel calls for bunkers in November,1.5% higher than the level seen a month earlier. That left the average stem size last month at about 1,315 mt, compared with the 12-month average of 1,264 mt.

Boxship Decline

The total gross tonnage visiting Singapore dropped by 6.2% on the year to 231 million mt. This decline was led by the bulker segment, which lost 9.6 million mt, and by a 6.1 million mt drop in container tonnage.

Tanker tonnage lost 1.9 million mt on the year.

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.