Global bunker supplier TFG Marine saw a 'stronger-than-expected' profit in the year to September 30, according to Trafigura, one of the firm's three owners.
The supplier is now operational at 35 bunkering hubs, Trafigura said in its annual report on Thursday.
"Benefitting from Trafigura’s financial backing and risk management expertise, TFG Marine was able to successfully navigate highly volatile market conditions in 2022 and meet the needs of its growing customer base as many of its rivals struggled in a market defined by unprecedented volatility," the company said in the report.
"As a result, the joint venture recorded stronger-than-expected profit over the financial year to September."
Last Year's Expectations
This time last year, the firm had gloomy expectations for the bunker industry in 2022.
"The current bunker market is unsustainable, and 2022 is expected to be a year of accelerating consolidation, with players exiting the market for various reasons, including insufficient access to financial liquidity," the company said in the December 2021 statement.
"For TFG Marine, this amounts to a unique opportunity to win business through innovation and the supply of alternative lower-carbon fuels and co-operation with other players, supported by an already strong brand, a solid financial position and a reputation for transparency."
Further Turbulence in 2023
The company remains pessimistic in its outlook for the next 12 months.
"Looking forward, we expect further turbulence in the year ahead as the bunker market is affected by geopolitical events and fears of recession," it said in the report on Thursday.
The company did not reveal outright numbers for TFG's profits. The supplier grew its 'volumes and customer base year on year', it said.
Ship & Bunker and SeaCred's Top Ten Bunker Companies for 2022 report estimated TFG's annual bunker volumes for the 2021 calendar year at 8 million mt.
The firm is rolling out mass flow meters on more of its bunker delivery fleet, and has been a strong proponent of the technology this year.
"Over a third of our barges are already equipped with this technology, with more to be added over the next two years, against an industry average of just one percent," Trafigura said.
TFG is also working on a new digital service for its customers.
"TFG Marine is also continuing to work on the development of a digital portal that can provide customers with information including quotes and certificates of quality," Trafigura said in the report.
"Combined with the data gathered by our mass flow meters, this has the potential to provide a live view of the entire bunkering process and further differentiate TFG Marine from its competitors."
TFG was founded by Trafigura, Frontline and Golden Ocean in 2020.