ANALYSIS: Singapore May Bunker Sales Jump to Four-Month High

by Jack Jordan, Managing Editor, Ship & Bunker
Friday June 14, 2024

Marine fuel sales in Singapore, the world's largest bunkering hub, jumped on both a monthly and yearly basis in May, reaching the highest level in four months.

The city-state's total conventional and biofuel demand reached 4.78 million mt in May, up by 5.7% on the year and by 13.7% from April's level, according to the latest data from the Maritime and Port Authority. The total was the highest since January.

Singapore's total for Q1 was 13.78 million mt, a record high, up by 11.6% on the year and by 0.7% from the previous quarter.

If the total from the first five months of the year were to be replicated over the rest of 2024, this year's total for Singapore would reach 54.63 million mt, up by 5.4% from 2023's record high.

Product Breakdown

VLSFO sales advanced by 17.2% on the month to 2.64 million mt in May, HSFO rose by 8.6% to 1.74 million mt, distillates climbed by 20.3% to 345,300 mt and biofuel blends dropped by 9.4% to 54,000 mt.

HSFO's share of the total was 36.4%, up from 32% the same month a year earlier.

Separately, LNG bunker sales surged by 37.1% on the month to 48,800 mt in May, a record monthly total, while no methanol sales were recorded.

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

Bunker Calls Advance

The number of vessels calling at Singapore to bunker advanced on a monthly basis in May but remained below the level seen a year earlier.

A total of 3,532 vessels came to Singapore's waters to bunker in May, up by 4.2% from April's level.

That left the average conventional and biofuel bunker stem size last month at about 1,352 mt, compared with an average over the previous 12 months of 1,274 mt.


Singapore's average VLSFO price in May was $620/mt, down by 4.5% from April's level but up by 8% from the level seen a year earlier.

Ship & Bunker's G20-VLSFO Index of average prices across 20 leading bunkering ports lost 4.9% on the month and gained 8.5% on the year to $635.50/mt in May.

Tanker Visits Drop

The total gross tonnage visiting Singapore rose by 0.3% on the year to 267.37 million mt in May.

This advance was led by the bulker segment, where calls by gross tonnage gained 3.78 million mt. Tankers gained 2.79 million mt, while container ship tonnage calls fell by 5.4 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.