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February 19, 2018

Bunker Fuel

Markets

North Asian Bunkers Commentary

New York (Platts)--07Dec17/0745 pm EST/ 0045 GMT

The bunker fuel market in North Asia turned firmer as the week progressed, with support being seen across the region. Traders said Thursday that overall stronger demand as well as tighter supply were aiding the bullish sentiment, with prices for 380 CST bunker fuel for delivery at Platts' assessed ports in North Asia bucking the fall in crude prices Wednesday. In South Korea, traders said suppliers had hiked up bunker fuel prices due to seasonal winter demand. In addition, sources said that some bunker volumes were being diverted into the domestic asphalt market. "The domestic asphalt market in South Korea in December is a little bit better than expected," a trader said. "Usually, it is off-peak season for it [the asphalt market] during winter ... but [as there seems to be more demand at the moment] refineries do not need to sell as much bunker fuel," he said. Some market participants said that December premiums for bunker fuel in South Korea seemed to be lower this year compared to last year. "Actually, [bunker fuel] premiums are not as strong as compared to previous winters ... there is enough availability in the market," another trader said, adding that while bunker fuel was usually tight in winter due to higher demand from power plants for heating purposes, this year demand from the heating sector appeared to be less acute. In Shanghai, industry sources said that the market remained supported on supply shortages. "Bunker fuel was oversold ... but inventory levels will recover soon," the source said, without elaborating on expected arrivals of shipments for resupply.


Trends

Shanghai 180 CST


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