Asia’s fuel oil trade nearly halved in 2020 due to COVID and rule changes

SINGAPORE (Reuters) by Roslan Khasawneh – Trading volumes in Asia for fuel oil, a key shipping fuel, nearly halved in 2020 to the lowest levels in at least five years as stricter emission rules for marine fuel altered trade patterns and as the COVID-19 pandemic hurt demand. The drop in trade volumes during S&P Global Platts’ price assessment process and on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) followed a major fuel specification change in the shipping industry last year as the International Maritime Organization (IMO) reduced the sulphur content for marine fuels to 0.5% from 3.5% starting from 2020. A total of 7.33 million tonnes of fuel oil was traded during Platts’ Singapore market-on-close (MOC) price assessment process, down 46% from 2019, data from the global energy pricing agency showed. “One reason is COVID … but we have seen overall quite a substantial drop in spot trading across the barrel,” said Calvin Lee, head of content for Asia at Platts. The trades included 180-centistoke (cst) and 380-cst high-sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) and the IMO-compliant 0.5% marine fuel oil (MFO). Singapore is the world’s top marine refuelling hub and serves as Asia’s pricing centre for crude and oil products. “We’re not focused on… continue reading

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