Spot prices for low-sulfur bunker fuel sank for the sixth straight week last week, a total drop of just over 7 percent.
The price of low-sulfur fuel per metric ton in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, a global indicator of bunker prices, has dropped $46.21 in six weeks. Last week alone, the spot rate price per metric ton dropped 1 percent from the previous week, falling to $600.70 per ton. Since January 1, low-sulfur spot prices have dropped 2.4 percent.
This week’s average price was 2.2 percent lower compared with the same week last year. Low-sulfur prices have not slipped below $600 per metric ton since the end of January.
One metric ton is equivalent to about 6.4 barrels or 300 gallons.
High-sulfur spot prices were up marginally, showing gains of 0.2 percent for a weekly average of $574.50 per metric ton. Despite this increase, the price of high-sulfur fuel is down 5.2 percent year-over-year and 2.5 percent since Jan. 1.
Bunker fuel prices typically follow the pricing of crude oil. Unrest in the Middle East tends to spur price hikes, and constant conflict in Iraq has already spawned talk of rising crude oil prices. BRENT, an index of spot market fuel prices, has dipped in recent weeks.
“Brent prices have been dropping steadily since the middle of January and taking Rotterdam bunkers along for the ride,” Mitchell J. Karp, vice president of LQM Petroleum Services, told JOC.com.