Billion-dollar savings for container lines
It was expected that the new 0.5-per-cent sulphur fuels (also known as VLSFO) that became mandatory as from 1 January 2020 would be significantly more expensive than traditional high-sulphur bunker fuel with a price spread of around USD 200 per ton. As container lines typically use around 55 million tons fuel per year, this would result in added costs of USD 11 billion in 2020, according to analyst firm Sea-Intelligence.
But the price spread has since then narrowed considerably, to the significant benefit of shipping lines. “If we assume the VLSFO fuel price for November and December remains at the same average level as seen in August–October 2020, we will end 2020 at a point where the carriers collectively have saved 2.2 billion USD on fuel, compared to 2019,” writes the firm.
Source: Shipping Watch, 26 October 2020