Global VLSFO Off-Spec Rate Jumped to 15-Month High in Q4

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Monday January 23, 2023

The share of VLSFO samples found to be off-specification jumped on both a yearly and sequential quarterly basis in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to Bureau Veritas bunker monitoring unit Verifuel.

About 2.3% of the VLSFO samples analysed by Verifuel in the fourth quarter of 2022 were found to be off-specification, a company representative told Ship & Bunker. The figure was the highest level since the second quarter of 2021, up from 1.8% in the previous quarter and from 1.3% in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Within Q4 the off-spec rate was at its highest in November, at 3.4%, with the level in October and December reaching 1.9% and 1.5%, respectively.

An increase in quality problems may have been caused by the aftermath of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with middle distillates now much harder to come by and more experimental blending components likely to be used. Singapore saw HSFO contamination problems in February and March of last year, and a similar situation emerged at the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp hub over the summer.

The global average viscosity of all VLSFO samples the company analysed was 157 cSt in the fourth quarter, up from 148 cSt the previous quarter. Average density fell marginally to 942.5 kg/m3 from 944.3 kg/m3 the previous quarter.