UAE's Fujairah 2022 bunker fuel sales down 1.5% y/y
SINGAPORE, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Sales of marine fuels, also known as bunkers, eased 1.5% year-on-year to about 7.7 million tonnes in 2022 at the United Arab Emirates' Fujairah, the world's third largest bunkering hub.
Bunker sales from January to December 2022, excluding lubricants, were at 8,049,364 cubic metres, data from the Fujairah Oil Industry Zone published by industry information service provider S&P Global Commodity Insights, showed.
The lower annual sales coincided with a drop in bunkering volumes across key global ship refuelling ports, dragged by slower macroeconomic sentiment.
Total sales of low-sulphur marine fuels, including low-sulphur fuel oils (LSFO) and marine gasoils (MGO), were down 4.4% from the previous year at about 6.2 million tonnes in 2022, Reuters calculations based on the data showed.
Meanwhile, sales of high-sulphur fuel oils (HSFO) were at about 1.5 million tonnes, up 12.3% from 2021. The market share of high-sulphur bunker fuel volumes expanded to 20% in 2022, versus 17% in 2021, according to the data.
HSFO bunkering demand edged higher at major ports of Singapore and Fujairah last year, as a wide difference between HSFO and LSFO prices prompted shippers with scrubber-installed vessels to increase HSFO uptake.
"We do believe that HSFO will continue to take back more share of the bunker market (in 2023) on increased scrubber installations, but the growth will be slower (than in 2022)," Energy Aspects analysts told Reuters, adding that the price spread could narrow into 2023.
Global bunker demand this year is expected to ease as demand for container ships softens due to slower Western economies, although increased tanker speeds and tonne-miles will offset this to some extent, said the Energy Aspects analysts.
December marine fuel sales, excluding lubricants, were at a four-month high of 694,390 cubic metres, or about 665,000 tonnes, at Fujairah.
Fujairah bunker fuel sales by month and grade in cubic metres:
(Data from the Fujairah Oil Industry Zone published by S&P Global Commodity Insights)
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