Bunker fuel prices in Panama rise to highest since August 2015


High sulfur bunker fuel prices in Balboa, Panama, rose to the highest level in a year on tight supplies for prompt deliveries. S&P Global Platts assessed IFO 380 CST up $17 to $270/mt ex-wharf in the ports of Balboa and Cristobal Thursday, the highest price since August 31, 2015, when it was at $274.50/mt ex-wharf, according to Platts data.

The spread between high sulfur bunker fuel prices in Balboa and the same product in Houston widened to $26 as a result of that assessment, the biggest since it reached $27 on May 4.

In the past, bunker suppliers in Panama have said they need at least a $30-$40 spread to cover storage and transportation costs. In Houston, IFO 380 CST was assessed up $7 to $256.95/mt.

During the Platts Market on Close assessment process, Peninsula placed a bid for 500 mt of high sulfur bunker fuel to be loaded September 25-29 then gradually raised its bid to $264/mt ex-wharf, and Glencore sold to Peninsula at that price.

Peninsula then rebid and gradually rose to $270/mt ex-wharf for 500 mt for September 25-29. Glencore sold to Peninsula at that price.

Several physical suppliers and traders this week have mentioned tight supplies for prompt deliveries.

One US-based trader with business in Panama said they did not believe the limited availability was the result of a structural issue, but said it was hard to get product on short notice.

“If you want anything quick it’s hard to get,” the trader said. “By quick I mean three to four days out. All the way out to the end of the month it looks pretty tight.”

Source: Platts 

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