China is one of the world’s largest importers of energy and raw materials, and its ports handle nearly a third of global container traffic. Little wonder then, that in terms of the number of ships owned, China has the largest merchant fleet in the world. Given the size of its fleet and the number of ships that pass through its ports, China plays a surprisingly small role in bonded bunkering – the provision of fuel sold tax-free to ships travelling between countries across international waters. It is not China but Singapore that dominates Asian bunkering. Just under 50 million metric tons of bunker fuel were sold in Singapore last year, making it the world’s largest bunkering hub. No other port comes close. Rotterdam and Fujairah, the world’s second- and third- largest bunker ports, each sold under 10 million mt last year. In comparison, China’s total bunker fuel demand is about 12 million mt/year across all its ports. Most of the world’s shipping fleet runs on high sulfur fuel oil – a cheap, dirty byproduct of the refining process. Asian refineries’ output of HSFO is not enough to meet regional demand. S&P Global Platts Analytics estimates that Singapore imported nearly 90%… continue reading
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Source: CTRM Center