Vladivostok saw bunkers sales up 70% in 2017. File Image / Pixabay
After rising steadily throughout the year, Russia's Far East port of Vladivostok ended 2017 with bunker sales up 70% over 2016, according to data from Russian market specialists PortnewsIAA.
In total, 701,400 tonnes of bunkers were sold with some 557,500 tonnes said to be HFO, and the balance distillate products.
Around 20% of the total volume was sold at the offshore terminals, with the rest sold at the port.
Despite the jump, sales are still much lower than they have been in recent years and follow a dismal 2016 when sales collapsed to around a third of what they were just a year earlier.
After Russian Far East bunker sales almost doubled in 2014, a year Vladivostok saw sales of 1.065 million tonnes and the Russian Far East was declared to be "probably the world's fastest growing bunker market," the tide began to turn when falling oil prices eroded the $100 to $150 per metric tonne (pmt) price advantage the Russian ports once held over Singapore.
This was then accompanied by tax and custom policy changes that left local players in fear of bankruptcy.