ANALYSIS: Singapore Monthly Bunker Sales Climb to Highest Level Since July

by Jack Jordan, Managing Editor, Ship & Bunker
Wednesday November 15, 2023

Conventional bunker and biofuel blend sales volumes in Singapore, the world's largest marine fuels hub, saw gains on both a monthly and yearly basis in October, reaching the highest level in three months.

The city-state's total conventional and biofuel demand reached 4.39 million mt in October, according to preliminary data from the Maritime and Port Authority. The total was up by 3.2% from the same month a year earlier and by 3% from September's level.

This year's high so far was 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 rose by 2.7% on the month to 2.52 million mt in October, HSFO declined by 1.5% to 1.45 million mt, distillates rose by 16.9% to 333,500 mt and biofuel blends surged by 84% to 79,100 mt.

September's HSFO total, nearly matched in October, was the highest since November 2019, before the 0.50% sulfur cap came into force in January 2020. HSFO's share of the total was 34.6%, up from 29.3% the same month a year earlier.

Separately, LNG bunker sales jumped by 109.1% on the month to 16,100 mt in October, 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 both a monthly and yearly basis in October.

A total of 3,542 vessels came to Singapore's waters to bunker in October. The total was up by 3.2% on the year, by 1.1% from September's level and the highest total since May.

That left the average conventional and biofuel bunker stem size last month at about 1,238 mt, compared with an average over the previous 12 months of 1,241 mt.


Singapore's average VLSFO price in October was $668.50/mt, up by 0.8% from September's level but down by 7.9% from the level seen a year earlier.

Ship & Bunker's G20-VLSFO Index of average prices across 20 leading bunkering ports lost 0.3% on the month and 10.4% on the year to $672.50/mt in October.

Bulker Visits Jump

The total gross tonnage visiting Singapore jumped by 4.7% on the year to 262.952 million mt in October. This advance was led by the dry bulk segment, where calls by gross tonnage gained 7.6 million mt. Container tonnage calls rose by 6.3 million mt, while tankers declined by 1.3 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.