EnergyAsia, February 2 2015, Monday) — For the third consecutive year, Singapore reported lower bunker sales in 2014 as trade fell on a combination of tightening credit and confusion following the bankruptcy of a key supplier, the imposition of tighter fuel specifications, better fuel efficiency, and fears of a slowing global economy amid the sharp plunge in global oil prices.

Singapore retained its position as the world’s top bunker port in 2014, selling nearly 42.42 million tonnes of shipping fuel, down 0.62% from 2013’s 42.68 million tonnes. It sold a record 43.15 million tonnes in 2011 and 42.69 million tonnes in 2012, according to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).

Singapore remains a world leading port, thanks to the improved performance of other measures of maritime performance that more than offset the bunker sector’s continuing decline.

The total weight of annual vessel arrivals edged up 1.9% to reach a record high of 2.37 billion gross tonnes (GT) in 2014, while container throughput rose 4% to 33.9 million twenty-foot equivalent (TEUs) and weight of cargo handled increased 3.5% to reach 580.8 million tonnes.

The port was on course to show a gain on its bunker volume in 2014 when trade was disrupted by Denmark-listed OW Bunker filing for bankruptcy in November after it reported a US$125 million fraud at its Singapore subsidiary Dynamic Oil Trading (DOT) and a US$150 million risk-management loss. Police investigations are continuing into possible fraud and criminal activity at OW Bunker, which had raised US$530 million from its listing on the Copenhagen stock exchange last March.

The collapse of one of the world’s largest shipping fuel suppliers, shook market confidence, with Singapore taking the brunt of a slowdown as traders demanded tighter credit checks and conditions from their counterparts as they unwound their exposure and trades with OW Bunker and Dynamic Oil Trading.

Adding to the slowdown, vessel owners began delaying their bunker purchases in anticipation of further oil price decline and the impending imposition of lower sulphur content for fuel in ships entering Europe and other Emission Control Areas from January 1 2015.

Traders said the shipping industry’s improving fuel efficiency has also contributed to the general decline in Singapore’s bunker sales in recent years.

Singapore is home to over 130 international shipping groups and a total of 5,000 maritime establishments representing a diverse range of maritime businesses which employ more than 170,000 people and accounts for seven per cent of the national economy.

 

Singapore’s bunker sales volume (000 tonnes)

Source: MPA

Total MGO MDO MFO 180 cst MFO 380 cst MFO 500 cst LSMGO LSFO 180 cst LSFO

380 cst

LSFO 500 cst Others
2007 31,546.0 1,502.0 21.1 2,964.9 22,722.0 3,983.3 N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. 352.6
2008 34,936.4 1,537.5 11.7 2,696.0 25,941.8 4,383.7 N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. 365.7
2009 36,386.7 1,583.2 11.7 2,205.9 28,425.5 3,689.8 N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. 470.7
2010 40,853.0 1,596.6 8.5 2,271.9 31,451.5 5,287.7 N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. 236.8
2011 43,153.6 1,569.6 6.6 1,641.0 34,122.1 5,577.7 N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. 236.6
2012 42,685.4 1,454.2 2.2 1,247.0 33,685.5 6,225.4 N.A. N.A. N.A. N.A. 71.1
2013 42,682.2 1,182.9 2.0 950.2 32,070.2 7,661.5 190.9 1.8 541.1 15.0 66.5
2014* 42,416.8 1,023.8 1.9 747.6 31,812.7 8,106.0 287.4 2.0 412.6 4.9 18.0