ANALYSIS: Singapore August Bunker Sales Post 5.8% Monthly Decline

by Jack Jordan, Managing Editor, Ship & Bunker
Friday September 15, 2023

Conventional bunker and biofuel blend sales volumes in Singapore, the world's largest marine fuels hub, slipped on a monthly basis in August while remaining above the level seen this time last tear.

The city-state's total conventional and biofuel demand reached 4.24 million mt in August, according to preliminary data from the Maritime and Port Authority. The total was up by 3% from the same month a year earlier, but down by 5.8% from July's level.

July's total was just short of the 4.52 million mt seen in May, which had been the highest monthly figure since January 2018.

January 2018's total of 4.61 million mt was the highest on record for Singapore.

Product Breakdown

VLSFO sales slipped by 5.8% on the month to 2.51 million mt in August, HSFO declined by 6.1% to 1.39 million mt, distillates sank by 8.8% to 282,600 mt and biofuel blends grew by 31.8% to 52,600 mt.

HSFO's share of the total was 32.9%, up from 30.7% the same month a year earlier.

Separately, LNG bunker sales fell by 14.8% on the month to 15,600 mt, while no methanol sales were recorded.

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

Bunker Calls Advance

The number of vessels calling at Singapore to bunker advanced on a yearly basis in August but slipped from July's level.

A total of 3,483 vessels came to Singapore's waters to bunker in August. The total was up by 8.4% on the year and down by 0.8% from July's level.

That left the average conventional and biofuel bunker stem size last month at about 1,217 mt, compared with an average over the previous 12 months of 1,244 mt.


Singapore's average VLSFO price in August was $640/mt, up by 9.2% from July's level but down by 17.4% from the level seen a year earlier. Ship & Bunker's G20-VLSFO Index of average prices across 20 leading bunkering ports gained 8.4% on the month and lost 20.4% on the year to $653.50/mt in August.

Bulker Visits Jump

The total gross tonnage visiting Singapore jumped by 7.6% on the year to 263.7 million mt in August. This advance was led by the dry bulk segment, where calls by gross tonnage gained 15 million mt. Container tonnage calls rose by 12.5 million mt, while tankers declined by 6.8 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.