Rotterdam's VLSFO prices are surging. Image Credit: Ship & Bunker
VLSFO prices at Rotterdam have hit a record high as geopolitical tensions and improving demand prospects drive a surge in crude oil.
VLSFO at Rotterdam gained $20.50/mt to $638.50/mt on Monday, according to Ship & Bunker prices, the highest level since pricing indications were launched in 2019. The highest level the prices reached during the IMO 2020 transition two years ago was $598/mt.
Brent futures hit the highest intraday level since October 2014 on Tuesday after a Houthi attack on a UAE oil facility on Monday and as the waning impact of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 on key economies led to expectations of improved demand later this year.
High bunker prices may lead to some improvement in profit margins for trading firms, but will also increase the working capital needed to provide the credit that the bunker market runs on.
VLSFO prices at other key bunkering hubs remain below their all-time highs. VLSFO in Singapore gained $2/mt to $679.50/mt on Monday, compared with the high of $741/mt seen in January 2020, while at Fujairah it rose by $14/mt to $684.50/mt, compared with the January 2020 high of $793.50/mt.
The global average VLSFO price advanced by $8.50/mt to $676/mt on Monday, according to Ship & Bunker's G20 index of prices at 20 leading bunkering ports, compared with the January 2020 high of $694/mt.