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MABUX: Bunker Weekly Outlook.

With Covid-19 rising in many large oil markets uncertainty about the future of oil’s fundamentals remains unusually high. Any change in this state of affairs depends on how the pandemic develops.

The World Bunker Index MABUX continued slight upward evolution for a week. The 380 HSFO index rose from 292.38 to 297.65 USD/ MT (+5.27 USD), VLSFO added 4.00 USD globally: from 349 to 353 USD / MT, while MGO gained 5.92 USD: from 412.54 up to 418.46 USD / MT. The Global Scrubber Spread (SS) (price difference between 380 HSFOs and VLSFOs) has also increased slightly: it has added 3.43 USD and averaged 56.84 USD (53.41 USD a week ago).

SS spread in both hubs: Rotterdam and Singapore, has shown a decline over the last week: minus 9 USD in Rotterdam and minus 6 USD in Singapore. At the same time, the average SS spread in both ports did not change significantly, having decreased by1.67 USD in Rotterdam and added 1.00 USD in Singapore.

OPEC estimates, global demand for oil-based bunker fuels will drop by 4.8% in 2020 from last year's level: from 4.2 million bpd in 2019 down to 4.0 million bpd (230 million mt/year) in 2020. OPEC also expects 10% demand growth over the next five years to reach 4.4 million bpd by 2025. The strongest growth is expected in so called “Non-OECD Other Asia” category, which includes Singapore.

Bunker volumes at Singapore in September totalled 4.2 million MT, up month-on-month and year-on-year. At 2.29 million MT, VLSFO (380 cSt) sales were the highest for the year, while MGO volumes totalled 25,000 MT – the lowest seen this year and a significant decrease from the 108,500 MT sold in January.

There is a proposal for a new Emission Control Area coming to the IMO in the near future, namely for the Mediterranean. At least initially, it is expected to be a proposal for a sulphur-only ECA with a 0.10% limit. The proposal is expected to have 2024 as the target year for entry into force.