July's total was the highest since December. Image Credit: Ship & Bunker / Data Credit: MPA
Bunker demand in Singapore, the world's largest marine fuels hub, jumped on both a monthly and yearly basis in July to the highest level in seven months.
The city-state's total demand advanced to 4.1 million mt in July, according to preliminary data from the Maritime and Port Authority. The total was up by 1.4% from the same month a year earlier, by 9.8% from June's level and the highest monthly total since December.
The total had dropped by 8.8% on a monthly basis in June.
VLSFO sales rose by 6.5% on the month to 2.5 million mt in July, HSFO surged by 15.9% to 1.3 million mt, distillates jumped by 17.1% to 327,500 mt and other fuels dropped by 26.5% to 20,300 mt.
The average stem size in July was about 1,295 mt.
HSFO's share of the total was 30.8%, up from 26% the same month a year earlier. Its monthly total was at the highest level since the pre-IMO 2020 era, having dropped in recent months after HSFO contamination problems seen in February and March.
The niche LNG bunker market in Singapore continues to grow, after seeing total sales of 50,000 mt last year, but LNG sales are not yet being included in the monthly figures. Biofuel sales are also being carried out, but are not included in the official data.
Strong Start to Second Half
July's total shows a strong start to the second half of the year in Singapore after persistent weakness early in 2022. Singapore's first-half total was the lowest since the first half of 2015, undermined by COVID lockdown effects in Asia, the HSFO contamination problem in February and March and supply issues caused by the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
There were 3,181 vessel calls for bunkers in July, 8.2% higher than the level seen a month earlier and the most since November 2021. That left the average stem size last month at about 1,295 mt, compared with the 12-month average of 1,286 mt.
Singapore's average VLSFO price in July was $993.50/mt, according to Ship & Bunker prices, up by 81.5% from the $547.50/mt seen a year earlier. Ship & Bunker's G20 Index of average VLSFO prices at 20 leading bunkering ports gained 76% to $976/mt.
Bulker Visits Climb
Bulkers saw the biggest increase in gross tonnage visiting Singapore in July. Image Credit: Ship & Bunker / Data Credit: MPA
The total gross tonnage visiting Singapore jumped by 7.7% on the year to 246.8 million mt. This advance was led by the bulker segment, whose calls by gross tonnage gained 7 million mt. Tanker tonnage calls rose by 6.7 million mt, while containers rose by 5.3 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.