Opinions on the immediate future of supply and demand vary widely in the commodity trading sector. Global bunker market has shown some signs of moderate growth over the past 7 days, but there is still no firm ground for a sustained uptrend. There are also challenges in the form of rising virus cases and easing euphoria about vaccine amid efficacy concerns, which can make bunker prices vulnerable to some correction.
The World Bunker Index MABUX demonstrated firm upward evolution for a week. The 380 HSFO index rose from 326.60 USD/MT to 329.85 USD/ MT (+3.25 USD), VLSFO added 11.00 USD globally: from 395 USD/MT to 406 USD/MT while MGO gained 11.84 USD: from 463.06 USD/MT up to 474.90 USD/MT. The Global Scrubber Spread (SS) (price difference between 380 HSFOs and VLSFOs) also widened by 4.21 USD and reached 71.64 USD (67.43 USD a week ago), making combination of Scrubbers + 380 HSFO more attractive for the shipowners.
The correlation of Market Bunker Prices Index (MBP) vs MABUX Digital Bunker Prices Index (DBP) in four largest hubs (Rotterdam, Singapore, Fujairah and Houston) over the past seven days has not undergone significant changes: 380 HSFO and VLSFO were overvalued slightly in almost all selected ports. The exception was Rotterdam, where 380 HSFO was on average undervalued by 6 USD. On the contrary, MGO LS remained undervalued in all ports in a range of minus 15-26 USD, with the exception of Houston, where was still registered an average overvaluation of 8 USD.
As per Gasum, relatively small investments may be needed to complete the supply chain for LNG as a maritime fuel. However, the economic downturn stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic may hamper demand growth by slowing investment decisions in building new LNG-fuelled ships or conversions of existing vessels. Despite that, the number of LNG-fuelled vessels in operation and on order has reached 230 at present, up from 162 at the end of 2019, according to DNV GL.
Integr8 Fuels reported, in the past year the share of HSFO off-specs increased, overtaking VLSFO, which in turn saw a decrease. The severity of VLSFO off-specs also decreased, while increasing for HSFO. It was noted, that currently ARA has the highest probability of VLSFO and HSFO off-specs.
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