Istanbul bunker fuel loses premium to Piraeus despite availability issues


The premium for bunker fuel at Istanbul usually seen relative to Piraeus disappeared Thursday despite limitations to supply at the Turkish port, with sources saying the move was the result of values in the Greek port being buoyed by demand from cruise vessels.

The market for 380 CST fuel oil at both ports was assessed at $296/mt delivered Thursday, a $3/mt increase day on day at Piraeus and a $1/mt decrease at Istanbul, S&P Global Platts data showed.

While cruise ships bolster custom for bunker fuel in the region in summer months, security concerns have been deterring visits to Istanbul, sources said.

Demand at Piraeus was heard mixed Thursday. A trader said poor weather at Malta was sending some vessels to bunker at Piraeus, while a supplier said demand at the Greek port was on the weak side.

Meanwhile, congestion at Istanbul is limiting access to barges, but this was not enough to support prices.

Bunker fuel at Istanbul has averaged $4/mt over the Piraeus assessment since the start of April. In winter months, when there are fewer cruise ships, the gap is typically bigger. It averaged $11/mt mid-November until mid-March.

Source: Platts 

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