COVID vs IMO2020: Average Price Paid for Bunkers Down 10% so Far in 2020 vs 2019

by Martyn Lasek, Managing Director, Ship & Bunker
Tuesday October 13, 2020

The average price paid for bunkers in major ports over the first nine months of 2020 has fallen 10% compared to the same period in 2019, according to Ship & Bunker data.

The average price for IFO380 in Ship & Bunker's Global Top 20 Port Port index (G20) for January to September 2019 was $421/mt.

With the introduction of the IMO 2020 rule on January 1 meaning the majority of vessels switched to lifting max 0.50%S product, the average G20 VLSFO price over the first nine months of 2020 was $378/mt.

The drop goes against expectations set last year when the industry was preparing for the new fuel rules to raise bunker costs 30% to 40%.

And while prices at the start of 2020 were indeed much higher than those in 2019, overall 2020 has witnessed marine fuel prices at their lowest for several years thanks to both an oil price war, and demand destruction from global measures taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically, average G20 index prices for IFO380 in 2019 were $418/mt in Q1, $426/mt in Q2, and $417/mt in Q3.

The G20 index's corresponding average VLSFO prices in 2020 were $517/mt in Q1, $276/mt in Q2, and $341/mt in Q3.