European Bunker Markets: Avails Fears Recede As Chinese Lockdowns Puncture Global Demand

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Monday May 16, 2022

Fears of tight availability for fuel oil in European bunker markets seem to have faded as the effects of lockdowns in China deflate global shipping demand.

A northwest Europe-based bunker trader said demand had virtually disappeared in the last two weeks, in particular for the very low sulfur grade of bunker fuel. 

Demand in the Baltic, at least for marine gasoil, is also running below the expected demand average, according to market sources. And in the Mediterranean the outlook is patchy with traders reporting a quiet start to the week.

The most likely cause of the lacklustre markets is one supported by economic data from China: April retail sales in China fell by 11.1% in April compared to a year ago, Reuters reported citing national statistics. Factory production was also down over the period, by 2.9%, according to the report.

However, West Med has a slightly different picture on the fundamentals with demand strong enough in Gibraltar/Algerciras/Ceuta to cause ripples in North African ports which are said to be busy at the start of the week, according to sources.