Istanbul. File Image / Pixabay
Local bunker suppliers in Istanbul have sounded a positive tone despite a drop in marine fuel sales following measures put in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
The key regional market saw sales of about 580,000 mt of bunker fuel in Q1 2020, according to estimates provided to Ship & Bunker by local market sources, a decline of around 8% year over year from the 629,000 mt sold in the period during 2019.
The drop is in line with an overall decline for global bunker sales, which several analysts estimate have also fallen 8%.
Local players said they were pleased with the performance, particularly as the local market also endured some additional headwinds.
"Most importantly, we managed to provide all volume required despite a dramatic change in the supply chain after the local refinery stopped giving any VLSFO, which has been a key provider for the post 2020 markets," one physical supplier commented to Ship & Bunker.
June sales have slowed even further, another player noted, who said they expect Q2 sales to witness a year over year decline of around 10%.
"I have to say this is still fantastic given the pandemic and general lockdown situation," they added.
Istanbul is a one of the region's major bunker markets; its seven active physical suppliers control around 300,000 mt of storage capacity and 60 bunker barges, and serve some 10,000 ships per year.