Global bunker prices were steady last week while short decline was registered on Jun.15. MABUX Global Bunker Index for 380 HSFO decline slightly from $287/MT on June 11 down to $283/MT today, Jun.18 (minus $4), VLSFO – added 1 USD (from $335/MT to $336/MT, MGO LS rose from $408/MT to $411/MT (plus $3). A feared second wave of coronavirus infections may have arrived, with cases rising in many parts of the U.S., while exploding much more rapidly in Latin America. In China, a small number of new cases raised fears of a return of the virus. With much of the market pricing in a steady rebound in demand, any renewed lockdown or economic hit may drag fuel prices back down.
The impact of the coronavirus on global trade could perhaps be seen in the bunker volumes. At the Port of Singapore the marine fuel market has registered a 2% dip in year-on-year sales to 3.93 million metric tones (mt), while volumes for the year to date are ahead of 2019 figures. Panama Canal bunker volumes in May fell back by 5.1% year on year, and they were also down on April’s volumes, which totalled 414,137 mt.
The average VLSFO-HSFO global spread (so called Scrubber Spread (SS)) has increased slightly during the last 7 days and stands at 43.96 USD (+1.49 USD for index a week ago). Meanwhile, in Rotterdam weekly SS jumped to 70.96 USD (+28.63 USD) while today’s SS index stands even higher – at 96 USD. In Singapore this week SS index dropped from 87.17 USD to 67.17 (- 20 USD) (today stands at 79.00 USD). The fluctuations of SS index at the major hubs reflect the state of high volatility of global fuel market existing so far. A significant slowing was noticed by Clarksons Research in the number of ships already in service installing scrubbers, estimating there were under 100 vessels undergoing retrofits versus over 300 at the start of the year.