Ship operators are 14 times more likely to experience VLSFO Sulphur levels exceeding 0.50% with certain suppliers in ARA than in Singapore, Integr8 Fuels research reveals
With the marine fuels landscape growing ever more complex amidst a backdrop of tightening regulations and a fragmented supply chain, there are many factors that must be considered when buying bunkers. Focus has again fallen on quality since the high-profile contamination incidents in Singapore, and the new Mediterranean Sea ECA’s Sulphur cap drop that is looming for many tanker, dry bulk, container, and cruise ship operators in 2025.
Recent research conducted by Integr8 Fuels reveals several regional and parametric trends with regards to fuel quality and consistency. Key findings of the trading company’s second Bunker Quality Trends report, which looks at data related to 60 million metric tons of supply from the last 6-months, include:
VLSFO obtained in ARA is approximately 14 times more likely to have Sulphur levels exceeding 0.50% than Singapore, although with careful buying we can avoid this risk
The epicentre for hidden losses associated with Density remains in a popular Southeast Asian port
There are continued challenges of non-homogenous VLSFO blends in the industry
The report provides an in-depth assessment of key trends across all commercial fuel grades and key ports, answering questions such as, how likely am I to be faced with an off-specification situation, what are the most problematic parameters, which ports pose the highest risk, and what steps should I take when faced with a claim?
Integr8 also delves into the hidden losses that are often not considered when purchasing, and the author issues a note of caution as to the suitability of quality time bars in outlying supply locations, where delays in reporting can create significant time pressures when submitting a claim.
Chris Turner, Bunker Quality and Claims Manager for Integr8 Fuels said “Whilst fuel quality remains good overall, pockets of problems remain, and data-driven buying remains the first line of defence to proactively protect buyers against most of the issues we see in the industry. We hope this report will provide ship operators and bunker buyers with the information and tools they need to mitigate risk and make smart buying decisions.”
Coinciding with the release of this report, Integr8 Fuels has launched a new website that provides visitors with access to a plethora of bunker industry stats and content. This new information hub provides access to critical data sets that should be used when determining how, where, and when to bunker, which could ultimately assist buyers in making savings, as well as avoiding costly delays or claims.
“Our goal is to support our clients by providing clarity in what has become an increasingly complex marketplace. With so many different sources of data, and, in the case of pricing, a lack of official benchmarking system, it can be difficult to determine the right buying strategy or confidently assess performance.” said Pablo Di Nieri, Integr8’s Chief Commercial Officer.
“That’s why we have teams of research analysts and technical experts monitoring the market and producing valuable resources which users can access via our new website, along with regularly updated bunker pricing and quality information. Whilst data is not a silver bullet in avoiding all issues, the case for smart, proactive buying strategies remains a very strong one.” He continued.