PETERSBURG: Bunker fuel trade at Russia’s Baltic port of St Petersburg is switching from low sulfur fuel oil to 0.1% marine gasoil ahead of the new shipping fuel regulations within Emission Control Areas from January 1, 2015, according to traders. People have started to request over 1,000 mt of marine gasoil for voyage.
“We stopped seeing inquiries for LSFO volumes,” one bunkers supplier said. “However, demand has picked up for 0.1% marine gasoil in the last few weeks,” the source added. “Volumes we saw for LSFO parcels have been replaced by marine gasoil inquiries,” another supplier said.
According to Russian traders, buying appetite is relatively healthy despite higher prices for the newer grade of shipping fuel.
St Petersburg spot marine gasoil prices, trading around $620-680/mt, are $350/mt higher than delivered 380 CST LSFO prices.
With demand for 0.1% marine gasoil on the rise, Russian refineries are struggling to cover requirements, traders said.
“We have low volumes in our tanks for prompt, but we run out of it quickly and so far supply from refineries is not guaranteed,” the first bunker supplier said.
Refineries in the Moscow area owned by Gazpromneft and Lukoil are the main suppliers of the 0.1% marine gasoil but recent maintenance works have delayed some supply until the end of December, according to sources. Some additional volumes are expected to start coming from Bashneft next year.
St Petersburg is located within an ECA zone and has to comply with the new requirements of the International Maritime Organization to burn 0.1% shipping fuel from January 1, 2015.