INTERVIEW: Glander International Bunkering seeks growth as ‘new normal’ market expands, says CEO

Stacks

Singapore bunker sales will remain strong in 2021

HSFO sales supported by a favorable Hi-5 spread

Company to expand into new markets, committed to maritime decarbonization

Glander International Bunkering is looking for growth and expects to see a ‘new normal’ in the shipping and bunker market as global trade recovers, with the port of Singapore set for another year of strong demand due to its drive towards cleaner fuels and the immediate availability of HSFO, said company CEO Carsten Ladekjær.

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“Last year we noticed a shift in demand partly caused by COVID-19 and in some cases in favor of higher flow ports such as Singapore,” Ladekjær told S&P Global Platts in a statement. interview on August 4.

“The correlation between these changes and the regional shutdowns was quite remarkable…This year I think we could see greater demand growth in Singapore and the rest of the world, in line with the recovery of the global economy. “, he added.

Singapore, the world’s largest bunker port, saw a 5% year-on-year increase in bunker sales volumes in 2020, according to data from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.

This happened even as many major hubs around the world saw their sales volumes plummet as the weakening global macroeconomy amid the spread of the coronavirus severely hampered demand for oil, while oil restrictions Shipping and the complexities of crew changes have also reduced international trade.

In addition, Singapore’s trading community had to deal last year with the bankruptcy of Hin Leong, one of the world’s largest collapses of an oil trading company.

But Singapore quickly adapted after the setback, Ladekjær said. Following Hin Leong’s collapse, new suppliers quickly emerged and others stepped in to fill the void, he said.

“As a result, the vendor landscape has changed rapidly in Singapore, with new entrants as well as established players eager and ready to take their market share,” he added.

When it comes to the global bunker market, the credit situation has also remained fairly balanced, Ladekjær said, adding that high freight rates have also prompted customers in some important segments to pay on time and thus free up credit. for more deliveries with the same supplier or trader, he says.

“The big question remains whether this will continue, or whether we will see the credit situation tightening in the future,” he added.

HSFO Application Support

Singapore’s marine fuel sales to date in 2021 have been mainly supported by strong demand for high sulfur fuel oil, reflecting the continued increase in scrubber installations by shipowners, driven by a favorable price differential between low and high sulfur fuel oil, known as Hi-5 spread.

In June, sales of Singapore’s high sulfur bunker fuel oil, which includes 180 CST, 380 CST and 500 CST bunker fuel grades, increased 31.9% year-on-year to 1.06 million tonnes in June and accounted for 25.8% of the month’s total sales, the latest MPA data showed.


“Right now we are seeing a price differential of around $120/mt in Singapore between HSFO and VLSFO,” Ladekjær said.

“From an economic point of view, this should make washers attractive again. In addition, we are seeing that, in maritime segments in particular, which are currently under pressure, having a washer can make the difference between achieving whether or not the balance with current freight rates.” he added.


Meanwhile, HSFO supply will likely continue to be limited to larger flow ports such as Singapore, Ladekjær said.

“In order to supply HSFO, you need to dedicate supply assets, which means you need to have a certain flow of demand,” Ladekjær said.

Access to competitive products is also necessary. If those parameters can be met, some smaller port providers might also start offering HSFO, but such cases will be the exception rather than the rule, he said.

The company is looking to expand

Glander International Bunkering’s marine fuel volumes for its 2020-21 fiscal year to April 30 increased 18.7% year-on-year despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, the company announced earlier.

“Looking at the 2021-22 financial year compared to the previous year, we remain cautiously optimistic,” Ladekjær said.

After experiencing an increase in demand during the transition to the International Maritime Organization’s global low-sulphur mandate, the Fujairah bunker market has been somewhat negatively affected by regional sanctions and the global pandemic, as low oil prices were caused by a drop in demand, he said.

“I am confident that Fujairah is coming back strong, and we will continue to focus on this market as well,” Ladekjær said.

The company continues to seek growth in new markets around the world and was closely monitoring geographic gaps to expand its global reach, he added.

Montreal recently became the company’s second branch in North America and the ninth in the world, specializing in northern territories like Canada and the east coast of the United States.

Glander International Bunkering also remains firmly committed to the IMO decarbonization targets.

“Our ambition is to assume the same role in the industry that we have today. That is to act as a trusted advisor to our business partners and to provide relevant energy solutions through all types of industry changes through a global supplier network,” said Ladekjær.

“On the path to decarbonization, we will continue to let our financial strength work with and for our customers and suppliers, ensure counterparty security for everyone we deal with, put in place quality assurance measures, and above all to offer reasonable conditions to our valued customers around the world,” he added.


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