The HSFO boost has sent total sales to a four-month high. Image Credit: Ship & Bunker / Data Credit: AMP
The Singapore bunker contamination problems from earlier this year appear to have benefited Panama's bunker market, with a surge in HSFO sales last month driving total volumes to a four-month high.
Panama's total sales reached 477,901 mt in April, according to preliminary data from the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP). The total was up by 14.5% from a year earlier, by 12.4% from March's level and the most since December 2021.
HSFO sales were the biggest factor behind the rise, gaining 97.6% on the year to 134,482 mt. The HSFO figure was the highest since December 2019, before VLSFO became the dominant bunker fuel.
VLSFO lost 4.7% on the year to 289,123 mt, MGO dropped by 37% to 9,149 mt and LSMGO gained 43.6% to 45,147 mt.
Singapore's volumes showed the opposite trend last month, with a 12.1% year-on-year drop led by a 13.4% decline in HSFO demand. About 80 ships receiving contaminated HSFO in Singapore in February and March subsequently reported damage, according to the MPA.
The number of ships coming to Panama to bunker rose by 16% on the year to 659 in March, taking the average stem size down by 1.3% to about 725 mt. Over the previous 12 months the average stem size was about 696 mt.