Rotterdam's conventional bunker sales saw a small decline last year, while alternatives continued to soar. File Image / Pixabay
Conventional bunker sales at Rotterdam, the world's second-largest marine fuels hub, were essentially flat last year having declined just 0.5% overall in 2021 after a year-on-year decline in the fourth quarter.
Total conventional sales excluding marine lubricants slipped by 3.6% on the year to 2.4 million mt in the fourth quarter, according to the latest data from the Port of Rotterdam, while rising by 2% from the third quarter's total.
That left overall conventional sales last year at 9.3 million mt, down by 0.5% from 2020's total. For comparison, Singapore's conventional sales gained 0.3% last year, Panama's rose by 5.7% and Fujairah's climbed by an estimated 5.1%.
Readers should keep in mind there is a margin of error when measuring bunker volumes, which even for mass flow meters (MFMs) is +/- 0.50%.
VLSFO sales at Rotterdam gained 3.9% on the year to 1 million mt in the fourth quarter, HSFO lost 11.6% to 745,271 mt and ULSFO rose by 4.7% to 186,993 mt. MGO dropped by 24.9% to 242,081 mt and MDO gained 26.3% to 205,795 mt. HSFO took a 31.2% share of conventional sales, down from 34% in the same period a year earlier.
But while conventional sales were disappointing at Rotterdam last year, the Dutch port continued to take a leading role in the alternative bunker fuels market.
Rotterdam's LNG sales jumped by 33.7% on the year to 94,454 m3 in the fourth quarter, leaving 2021's total up by 187% on the year at 603,690 m3. That total excludes the 531 m3 of bio-LNG sales noted in the third quarter.
The port also started recording biofuel sales last year, with the annual total reaching 301,051 m3. These are biofuel blends with an unreported ratio of conventional fuels to biofuels, and the conventional elements of these blends are not recorded in the port's total conventional sales.