If any doubts remained that the International Maritime Organization’s tighter sulfur emission limits for ships in 2020 could be delayed or otherwise watered down, those doubts should have been laid to rest at a key committee meeting of the UN body last week. The IMO’s global marine fuels sulfur limit is set to drop from 3.5% to 0.5% at the start of 2020, forcing ship operators to use cleaner, more expensive alternatives to heavy fuel oil and bringing wide-ranging other consequences for commodity markets. S&P Global Platts Analytics forecasts a shift of approximately 3 million b/d of marine demand from high sulfur fuel oil to lower sulfur alternatives, and a significant jump in crude prices as refiners increase runs to maximize middle distillate output to meet the new demand. The January 1, 2020 implementation date for the new sulfur limit was decided two years ago, but doubts have repeatedly surfaced since then about whether it would be met, or could be postponed or phased in in a more relaxed manner. Those doubts were given another outing at a meeting of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) last week. US SUPPORTS ‘EXPERIENCE-BUILDING PHASE’ A Wall Street Journal story on October… continue reading
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Source: CTRM Center