What Did IP Week Tell Us About Post-IMO2020 HSFO and VLSFO Avails?

by Michael Donaldson-Badger, Managing Director - DMCC, NSI
Tuesday March 12, 2019

If IP Week was episode one of Star Wars that would make it "The Phantom Menace" (not that I want to cast any dispersions about IBIA board members being a menace) then it feels appropriate that the next episode in the series is "attack of the clones".

Post IP week we are all hearing the same cloned stories about which supplier or port might have what product, but in the finest tradition of the bunker market it seems that something is being added or taken away as the rumour is passed each time, maybe has something to do with a lot of marketing happening at 1am in various bars in London's west end.

As a general observation it appears there are plans for large supplies of 3.5% product at Hub and Key bunker only ports but the logistics of delivery barges are a little less clear. Various 0.5% fuel oil and distillate blends are starting to become available at key ports around the world are we are assisting many owners in either taking samples of these for their own analysis and trials onboard.

Where prior to IP Week it seemed there was lots of interest in taking term contracts to cover security of supply this interest appears to have been heavily dampened by the amount of information that was available during IP week. It is clear during this price discovery phase for new products that there is a lack of transparency regarding pricing models, with many rumours talking about the same product but a pricing differential of +-$50 pmt depending who gave the story.

As a former buyer one of the biggest challenges was getting reliable and accurate market intelligence. We are in discussions for various additions to our www.2020planning.com platform, one of which is a centralised resource of supplier specs. The idea is that all users would have the facility to upload the specs as received and then all other users would be able to access.

Our thoughts are this will promote transparency and working together and avoid duplication of effort in searching for the same info. Please let me have your thoughts.

We have also completed 65 updates to the site with the latest availability information obtained during IP Week.