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South Korean bunker premiums narrow on slow demand, rising supply

Easing supply tightness in the South Korean market coupled with tepid demand saw South Korean bunker premiums ease in September.

The spread between South Korean delivered 380 CST bunker fuel and Mean of Platts Singapore 380 CST high sulfur fuel oil assessments averaged $50.71/mt in the last two weeks of August, compared to $35.90/mt from September 3 to September 13.

Bunker premiums had soared end-August due to a lack of fuel oil supplies. The supply tightness eased in early September with the arrival of replenishment cargoes, while demand fell.

“Very slow demand during the past two weeks,” a trader said.

“Demand has been slow for us for a week; haven’t seen many inquiries compared with usual,” a second trader said.

Market participants estimate bunker premiums to range between $30-$35/mt this week.

Supply is also expected to rise as more cargoes arrive mid-September, traders said.

“Cargo is coming in [Friday] for us,” one supplier said earlier this week.

Source: Platts

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