Marine fuel global weekly market update

  • Spanish Market: Biofuels, E-fuels, Emissions, Fertilizers, Hydrogen, Oil products, Petrochemicals
  • 01/12/23

A weekly Argus news digest of interest to the conventional and alternative marine fuel markets. To speak to our team about accessing the stories below and access to Argus Marine Fuels, please contact

Alternative marine fuels

1 December EU's bio-feedstock rules face reality check: Industry The EU is over-reliant on using "waste" biofuels in its plans to decarbonise the aviation, shipping and trucking sectors, while a shortfall in associated feedstock supply could risk missingemissions-reduction targets unless strategies change, the biofuels industry warns.

1 December Spain's Cepsa, C2X plan 300,000 t/yr e-methanol plant Spanish energy company Cepsa has joined Danish shipping firm AP Moller-Maersk's affiliate C2X to develop 300,000 t/yr of e-methanol production capacity, the first of several production facilities planned by C2X in Spain.

1 December Maersk Tankers orders 10 large ammonia carriers Denmark's Maersk Tankers has confirmed an order for up to 10 very large ammonia carriers (VLAC) from South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries.

1 December European marine biodiesel prices converge Marine biodiesel blend price spreads converged along regional lines in November, as traded values eased in the west Mediterranean but held ground in northwest European ports.

1 December Tight supplies lift bunker premiums in UAE's Fujairah Bunker premiums in the UAE's Fujairah, the world's fourth largest bunkering port, rose to their highest in 11 months because of regional refinery problems and delayed cargoes from west of Suez.

30 November Kenoil supplies first bio-MGO blend in Singapore Bunker supplier Kenoil Marine Services will supply the first ever biofuel blended with marine gasoil (MGO) in Singapore.

30 November NCL and Yara plan ammonia-fueled containership Norway-based North Sea Container Line (NCL) in a joined venture with Norway-based fertilizer producer Yara will build the world's first containership that will operate on ammonia.

30 November B24 Med prices down in second half November Mediterranean marine biodiesel blend prices trended downwards in the second half of November as subdued bunkering demand combined with easing fundamentals in the underlying markets.

30 November BV launches first rules for hydrogen vessels Classification society Bureau Veritas (BV) has released its first set of classification rules (NR678) for vessels powered by hydrogen, complimenting the existing rules (NR547) on fuel-cell powered vessels which were launched last year.

30 November Second berth at Freeport LNG restarts operations An empty LNG carrier has arrived at the second loading berth of the US' 15mn t/yr Freeport LNG export facility, suggesting the berth is back in action after being offline since June 2022.

30 November Taiwan's Formosa sells more LSFO as RFCC issue drags on Taiwanese private-sector refiner Formosa Petrochemical likely sold around 160,000t (1.03mn bl) of low-sulphur fuel oil (LSFO) after an extended turnaround at its residual fluid catalytic cracker unit (RFCC) at its 540,000 b/d Mailiao refinery, according to traders.

29 November Petroecuador's LNG tender receives no offers Petroecuador did not receive any offers for a tender to import 4.86bcf of LNG over a three and a half month period.

29 November Spain's Enagas plans 2024 LNG maintenance Spain's seven LNG terminals have added extensive maintenance for next year, with constraints set to peak in the summer, according to the latest provisional plan published by Enagas on 27 November.

29 November Biorig to invest €250mn in 10 Spanish biogas plants Spanish firm Biorig will invest €250mn ($274mn) in the development, construction, and operation of 10 biomethane production facilities in the Castilla and Leon region of northwest Spain.

27 November Preem plans further investment on refinery conversion Swedish firm Preem said it plans to invest a further 5.5bn Swedish kronor ($525mn) on converting its 210,000 b/d Lysekil refinery into a renewable fuels plant.

27 November ERGaR asks EU to pull down biomethane ‘trade barrier' Eight European biomethane associations have sent a joint letter to the European Commission asking for the extra-EU imports of biomethane and biomethane-based fuels to be "certifiable and recognized" under the Union Database.

Conventional marine fuels

1 December First public bids for fob diesel cargoes in NWE The northwest European diesel market has seen the first ever bids for fob cargoes on a public platform, as fob ARA trade has grown in importance for the region since the exclusion of Russian products by EU and UK sanctions.

1 December Spot east-west VLSFO spread halves in late November Singapore's fob very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) premium over northwest Europe halved in late November, with demand for bunkers in the city state subdued.

1 December Houston Ship Channel partially closed due to fog The Houston Ship Channel partially closed at 5:30am ET today because of dense fog, halting inbound traffic in the first such closure of the region's fog season.

30 November China boosts refiners' fuel oil access Beijing has issued a surprise new batch of fuel oil import quotas...

30 November Gunvor adds newbuild tanker to its bitumen fleet International trading firm Gunvor has added a 17,779 deadweight tonne (dwt) newbuild bitumen tanker to its global fleet under what is probably a long-term charter arrangement.

30 November Singapore middle distillates stocks slip Singapore's middle distillates stocks inched lower to a five-week low following increased gasoil and jet fuel exports from the city-state.

29 November US Gulf coast MR tanker rates at all-time highs Lengthening Panama Canal transit delays have pressured Medium-Range (MR) tanker rates to record highs, prompting shipowners to remain in the US Gulf coast market and gain leverage in deals for Pacific-bound voyages that involve spiraling costs to transit the canal.

29 November US gasoline, diesel prices continue to fall: EIA Average US retail gasoline and diesel prices continued to fall during the last full week of November, according to the data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

29 November Spanish marine fuel sales at Algeciras rose in October Sales of marine fuels from Spain's largest port and bunker hub Algeciras turned higher on the year in October after falling in September, although total Spanish marine fuel demand continued to see sharp falls from 2022.

29 November Mideast Gulf refiners negotiate jet, gasoil term deals Mideast Gulf refiners are negotiating term jet fuel and gasoil supply deals for 2024, but different views on market prices are complicating the discussions.

29 November ExxonMobil Fawley's new hydrotreater to run from 2024 ExxonMobil's 270,000 b/d Fawley refinery in southern England will bring a new unit online next year — believed to be a hydrotreater — to boost low-sulphur diesel production by 40pc, the company told Argus today.

29 November Kuwait's al-Zour refinery now eyes mid-December restart Kuwaiti refiner Kipic has said it will take another two weeks to restart the new 615,000 b/d al-Zour refinery after the plant ran to a near halt two weeks ago.

28 November ZIM reroutes ships from Arabian and Red seas Israel-based container shipping company ZIM is diverting some of its vessels transiting the Arabian and Red seas and adding war risk insurance premiums.

28 November Large gas carrier newbuild orders rise Orders for very large ethane carriers (VLECs) and LNG carriers led the newbuild market in the week to 19 November, with orders totalling 544,000m³.

28 November Maersk sells stake in Hoegh Autoliners Danish shipping giant Moller-Maersk has sold 20mn shares in Norway's Hoegh Autoliners, cutting its stake in the firm to zero, according to an Oslo Stock Exchange filing.

28 November Sri Lanka approves China's Sinopec refinery proposal Sri Lanka has approved Chinese state-owned Sinopec's proposal to build a refinery at Sri Lanka's Hambantota district on 27 November.

27 November New Panama Canal auctions aimed at record waits The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) began new special auctions last week for vessels without reservations that have been waiting for at least ten days to transit the Panamax locks, following record delays in recent weeks.

27 November TotalEnergies Port Arthur refinery restarts TotalEnergies restarted units at its 238,000 b/d Port Arthur, Texas, refinery, on 23 November.

27 November Dry bulk dominates secondhand vessel market Dry bulk vessels made up the lion's share of deals in secondhand markets in the week to 19 November, with 27 sold compared with nine tanker deals, according to brokers.

Related news posts

Argus illuminates the markets by putting a lens on the areas that matter most to you. The market news and commentary we publish reveals vital insights that enable you to make stronger, well-informed decisions. Explore a selection of news stories related to this one.


German products demand up on supply concerns

German products demand up on supply concerns

Hamburg, 22 April (Argus) — German demand for heating oil and fuels rose sharply in the past week, with consumer concerns that conflict in the Middle East could restrict product availability were coupled with falling domestic product prices. Spot trade of heating oil, diesel and E5 gasoline submitted to Argus reached their highest weekly averages since the start of the year. The last time this amount of heating oil was traded was in December last year, and for gasoline and diesel it was at the beginning of October. Gasoline demand surged particularly in the Emsland and South regions, and middle distillates were primarily traded in Rhine-Main and Southwest. The missile attack by Iran on Israel on 13 April and Israel's drone attack on Iran on 19 April have heightened concerns of further escalation. An open conflict between Iran and Israel could affect supply of crude and gasoil from the Middle East by threatening major shipping routes of the Suez Canal, the strait of Hormuz and the eastern Mediterranean. These concerns led some German consumers to fill their tanks. Concurrently, product prices have fallen across Germany, further stimulating demand. Refineries in Karlsruhe and Neustadt-Vohburg have drawn buyers with fuel oil and gasoline prices below the German average. Heating oil at Miro's 310,000 b/d Karlsruhe traded at more than €2/100l below the national average, while gasoline at Bayernoil's 216,000 b/d Neustadt-Vohburg traded at a discount of almost €6/100l to the same average. By Johannes Guhlke Send comments and request more information at Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Europe 2.6°C above pre-industrial temperature in 2023


Europe 2.6°C above pre-industrial temperature in 2023

London, 22 April (Argus) — Temperatures in Europe stood at 2.6°C above pre-industrial levels in 2023, data from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) show. Europe last year experienced either its joint-warmest or second-warmest year on record, the WMO and EU earth-monitoring service Copernicus found today, in a joint report, European State of the Climate 2023 . The organisations use datasets covering different geographical domains for Europe. WMO includes Greenland, the South Caucasus and part of the Middle East in its dataset. Copernicus put the temperature in Europe last year at between 2.48–2.58°C above pre-industrial levels. The Paris climate agreement seeks to limit global warming to "well below" 2°C and preferably to 1.5°C. Europe is warming roughly twice as fast as the rest of the world. The global average temperature in 2023 was 1.45°C above the pre-industrial average, the WMO said earlier this year . It confirmed 2023 as the hottest on record. Climate scientists use the period 1850-1900 as the baseline for a pre-industrial average. Temperatures in Europe in 2023 were above average for 11 months of the year, and there was a record number of days with "extreme heat stress", the report found. The three warmest years on record for Europe have occurred since 2020, and the 10 warmest since 2007, it said. Electricity generation from renewables in Europe last year reached the highest proportion on record, at 43pc up from 36pc in 2022, the WMO and Copernicus said. Increased storm activity between October-December and above-average precipitation and river flow resulted in higher potential for wind power and run-of-river hydropower generation, respectively. Atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and methane — the greenhouse gases (GHGs) causing the most warming — continued to increase in 2023, "reaching record levels", the report found. It put CO2 concentrations at 419 parts per million (ppm) and methane at 1,902 parts per billion (ppb) on average last year. "Only around half of anthropogenic emissions of CO2 have been absorbed by land vegetation and oceans", the organisations said. GHGs from human activity are driving climate change, but the El Nino weather phenomenon also typically leads to higher temperatures. The El Nino weather pattern, which started in July 2023, peaked in December , the WMO said previously, but could still affect temperatures this year. There is a 60pc chance of La Nina conditions — which typically lead to lower temperatures — developing in June-August, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said earlier this month. By Georgia Gratton Send comments and request more information at Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

US amsul stripping margin rises again in April


US amsul stripping margin rises again in April

Houston, 19 April (Argus) — The stripping margin for ammonium sulfate (amsul), driven by higher amsul prices, continued to rise in April even as variable costs grew. The stripping margin increased by nearly $24/st to $270/st for April, up by 10pc from March and up by 13pc from April 2023. Inland amsul trade exceeded $400/short tons (st) this month on continued supply tightness following production outages in the first quarter. Minimal length at New Orleans (Nola) spurred sellers to offer imported tons as high as $405/st fob for first half May delivery. Participants in the amsul market anticipate values to keep rising into May as supply tightness persists. Higher amsul prices have been partially caused by higher costs for inputs. The Tampa, Florida, ammonia contract rose by 7pc to $475/st in April from the month prior and the sulfur Tampa contract climbed by 17pc to $81 per long ton (lt) from the previous quarter. The cost of ammonia and sulfur were 8pc and 27pc lower than a year earlier, respectively. The total variable cost for amsul rose by $10/st in April to $143/st after holding steady in March. Rising ammonia prices have supported amsul variable costs but gains in the price of ammonia have not been as substantive as the market expected, sources said. Applications of ammonia in the US are slowing, which may weaken the price of the Tampa contract, but production outages could offset seasonal declines. Ma'aden's ammonia II plant is due to undergo a month of maintenance starting mid-April. Sulfur prices are expected to remain firm in the near term but lose momentum entering the third quarter on higher refinery utilization in the US and the return of Chinese exports of MAP and DAP, which could oversaturate the phosphate fertilizer market. Sulfuric acid is used to produce DAP and MAP. By Meghan Yoyotte Send comments and request more information at Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Phosphates: Indian DAP stocks build in March


Phosphates: Indian DAP stocks build in March

London, 19 April (Argus) — DAP stocks rose by the equivalent of 2-3 import cargoes in March, or nearly 86,000t, as imports and local production outstripped offtake. Indian DAP production reached 218,900t in March, according to FAI data, down nearly 41pc on the same month in 2023. DAP imports reached 201,000t in March, down nearly 54pc on March 2023. Sales of DAP reached 334,200t, down nearly 12pc year on year. Stock draw/build, defined as production plus imports minus offtake, was plus 85,700t. This implies that stocks are still close to 2mn t of DAP, as estimated by the Indian government. Full fertilizer year DAP production (April 2023-March 2024) reached 4.29mn t, down around 1pc year on year. Imports were down 15.4pc at 5.57mn t, mainly due to the loss of supply from China owing to customs inspections, with sales at 10.8mn t, up nearly 4pc year on year. By Mike Nash Send comments and request more information at Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

India mulls using more natural gas in steel sector


India mulls using more natural gas in steel sector

Mumbai, 19 April (Argus) — India's steel ministry is considering increasing natural gas consumption in the sector as it aims to lower carbon emissions from the industry. Steelmakers held a meeting with the steel ministry earlier this month, to discuss challenges and avenues to increase gas allocation to the sector, according to a government document seen by Argus . Steel producers requested that the government set gas prices at an affordable range of $7-8/mn Btu for them, to make their gas-based plants viable, as well as for a custom duty waiver on LNG procured for captive power. India's LNG imports attract a custom duty of 2.5pc. City gas distribution firms sell gas at market-determined prices to steel companies. Representatives from the steel industry also requested for the inclusion of gas under the purview of the country's goods and service tax, and to be given higher priority in the allocation of deepwater gas, which has a higher calorific value. Deepwater gas is currently deployed mostly to city gas distribution networks. Steelmakers are currently undertaking feasibility tests for gas pipeline connectivity at various steel plants. But a gas supply transmission agreement requires a minimum five-year period for investment approval. The steel industry is heavily reliant on coal, and the sector accounts for about 8-10pc of carbon emissions in the country. A task force of gas suppliers including IOC, Gail, BPCL, Shell, and HPCL and steel producers like Tata Steel, AMNS, All India Steel Re-roller Association and the Pellet Manufacturers Association has been set up, and the team is expected to submit a report on increasing natural gas usage and lowering carbon emissions by 15 May, the government document said. This team is one of the 13 task forces approved by the steel ministry to define the country's green steel roadmap. The steel ministry aims to increase green steel exports from the country in the light of the policies under the EU's Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), which will take effect on 1 January 2026. Under the CBAM, importers will need to declare the quantity of goods imported into the EU in the preceding year and their corresponding greenhouse gas emissions. The importers will then have to surrender the corresponding number of CBAM certificates. CBAM certificate prices will be calculated based on the weekly average auction price of EU Emissions Trading System allowances, expressed in €/t of CO2 emitted. This is of higher importance to Indian steelmakers as the EU was the top finished steel export destination for Indian steelmakers during the April 2022-March 2023 fiscal year with total exports of 2.34mn t, and has been the preferred choice for Indian steel exports in the current fiscal year owing to higher prices compared to other regions. Indian steelmakers have started to take steps to lower their carbon emissions by announcing collaborations with technology companies to decarbonise, and are trial injecting hydrogen in blast furnaces, and increasing the usage of natural gas in ironmaking. By Rituparna Ghosh Send comments and request more information at Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Business intelligence reports

Get concise, trustworthy and unbiased analysis of the latest trends and developments in oil and energy markets. These reports are specially created for decision makers who don’t have time to track markets day-by-day, minute-by-minute.

Learn more