Strong Q4 Takes Rotterdam's 2020 Bunker Volumes to 5.7% Gain

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Wednesday January 20, 2021

Bunker sales volumes at Rotterdam jumped by 5.7% last year, boosted by a strong fourth quarter and a general flight of marine fuel buyers to the largest hubs.

Total oil sales were 2.5 million m3 in the fourth quarter, up by 10.7% from the same period a year earlier.

Making this gain more remarkable is that Q4 of 2019 was already at an artificially high level because of shipping companies rushing to build up stocks of VLSFO ahead of the IMO 2020 deadline.

That left total sales for 2020 at 9.4 million m3, 5.7% higher than 2019's level.

Hubs Take Greater Market Share

Rotterdam benefited from a consolidation of bunker demand at the larger hubs last year at the expense of the smaller ports. This happened at first with the advent of IMO 2020 as shipowners had concerns over VLSFO availability at some ports, and then later during the instability of the markets disruption during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Singapore's marine fuel sales gained 5% on the year to 49.8 million mt.

Elsewhere in the ARA hub, Antwerp saw much more damage to its market share from the COVID-19 pandemic last year, with demand in the first three quarters of 2020 51.5% lower than in the same period of 2019.

Q4 Data

Rotterdam's VLSFO sales gained 13.9% on the year to 971,484 m3 in the fourth quarter, while HSFO rose by 21.5% to 842,632 m3 and ULSFO lost 22.7% to 178,570 m3.

Marine gasoil lost 19.6% on the year to 328,752 m3, and marine diesel oil almost tripled to 168,305 m3.

LNG Bunkers

LNG bunkering at Rotterdam continued to surge last year. Sales in the fourth quarter were 70,648 m3, 243% higher than a year earlier.

Almost a quarter of this figure will have been taken up by the first bunkering at Rotterdam of the CMA CGM Jacques Saadé in November. Total bunkered the ship with 17,300 m3 of LNG. 

That took total sales for 2020 to 210,334 m3, up by 194% from 2019.