The military conflict in Ukraine hinders the formation of a stable sustainable trend in the global bunker market. Over the Week 13, the MABUX Bunker Index showed a slight downward correction. The 380 HSFO index decreased by 6.34 USD: from 724.63 USD/MT to 718.29 USD/MT. The VLSFO index lost 14.69 USD: from 948.76 USD/MT to 934.07 USD/MT. The MGO index lost 11.98 USD (from 1160.86 USD/MT to 1148.88 USD/MT).
The Global Scrubber Spread (SS) weekly average – the difference between 380 HSFO and VLSFO – rose slightly over the week versus the decline a week earlier: plus $5.87 ($221.46 vs. $215.59 last week). In Rotterdam, the average SS Spread dropped from $217.17 to $209.33 (down $7.84 vs. last week). In Singapore, the average SS Spread also dropped $11.00 from $220.67 to $209.67. Minor changes in SS Spread indicate a gradual stabilization of the market situation. More information is available in the Price Differences section in mabux.com.
Over the Week 13, the average correlation of MABUX MBP Index (market bunker prices) vs MABUX DBP Index (MABUX digital bunker benchmark) showed that the fuel overpricing trend prevailed in the global bunker market amid high volatility. Thus, 380 HSFO fuel remained overpriced at all four selected ports, although overprice premiums decreased significantly: in Rotterdam – plus $ 27, in Singapore – plus $ 2, in Fujairah – plus $ 3 and in Houston – plus $ 68. The most significant was a 32-point reduction of 380 HSFO’s overcharge in Houston.
VLSFO fuel grade, according to the MABUX MBP/DBP Index, also remained overpriced on average in all selected ports: plus $50 in Rotterdam, plus $8 in Singapore, plus $40 in Fujairah and plus $81 in Houston. In all selected ports, with the exception of Houston, there is a trend towards a reduction of overpricing margins. The most significant change over the week was the increase of VLSFO’s overprice ratio in the port of Houston by 72 points.
As for MGO LS, the MABUX MBP/DBP Index recorded an overpricing of this fuel grade in two out of four ports selected: Fujairah – plus $ 25 and Houston – plus $ 46. In Rotterdam and Singapore, according to the MABUX MBP/DBP Index, MGO LS fuel was undervalued by $6 and $88 respectively. In the segment of this fuel grade, there is also a steady trend towards a reduction of overprice ratio and a transition to the zone of undervaluation.
The Port of Rotterdam Authority is to begin work on establishing regulations and traffic control to ensure the coordination of increased drone traffic over the port. At present, there is not an official body that has oversight of commercial drone traffic which operates in very low-level airspace, so the Port Authority is setting up a pilot to find out how this can be done and to draw up a set of rules for safe traffic in this airspace. The Port Authority also said it will be issuing a tender for parties that could offer support to such an initiative. The Port Authority also highlights that the first vertiports (areas designed specifically for aircraft landing and taking off vertically) might be tested in Rotterdam in as early as 2024, to be followed two years later by the first commercial flights using flying taxis, albeit with a pilot. Manufacturers are said to be currently developing these drones to carry between two and six passengers.
The military conflict in Ukraine remains a potential uptrend driver for bunker fuel, despite some stabilization of the indices. We expect next week the global bunker market will be dominated by sharp multidirectional changes.