Hamburg bunker fuel prices drop to Rotterdam levels on weak demand

Nov 30, 2017

Hamburg 380 CST bunker fuel oil lost its premium to competing port Rotterdam after prices fell to a seven-month low Tuesday, with low demand at the German port weighing while the Rotterdam market strengthened.

S&P Global Platts assessed the differential between Hamburg and Rotterdam for 380 CST fuel oil at $0.00/mt Tuesday, down from $16/mt Monday and its lowest level since April 19.

The price of fuel oil at Hamburg dropped sharply Tuesday due to low demand, sources said Tuesday. 380 CST fuel oil was assessed by Platts at $353/mt delivered Tuesday, down $11/mt day on day.

“Demand is quiet,” a source said Monday. “Buyers are more selective and if vessels are going to various ports they would rather lift in ARA than Hamburg where fuel oil is cheaper. Fuel in Hamburg often has higher transportation costs incorporated compared to ARA, and with shipowners not in a good financial state, they are checking every dollar.”

Fuel oil at Rotterdam rose $5/mt Tuesday to $353/mt on the back of a competitive bid and subsequent trade in the Platts Market on Close assessment process, with V-Marine selling to Peninsula.

Demand could potentially pick up in Hamburg now that prices of fuel oil are similar to those at Rotterdam, one trader said, indicating the price of 380 CST was $354/mt Wednesday morning. Another trader cast doubt whether prices at Hamburg would remain so close to those at Rotterdam Wednesday, indicating that prices at Hamburg were as high as $360/mt Wednesday morning while other traders pegged prices at Rotterdam at $348/mt.

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