The price gap between high and low sulphur fuel oil has widened to just shy of $200 per ton at Singapore, the world’s largest bunkering hub, a delta not experienced since the introduction of the global sulphur cap in January 2020.

While the difference in price between the two dominant fuels has averaged around $110 per ton in the first 22 months of the sulphur cap era, it has shot up in Asia over the past month providing some financial gain for those owners who decided to invest in scrubbers.

In Singapore, the price differential now stands at $198 per ton of fuel as supply tightness in the republic sends prices upwards.

“The high spread in Asia comes as a continued surge by power utilities to prefer low-sulfur heavy fuel oil, rather than heavy fuel oil, as a substitute for natural gas,” analysts at Lorentzen & Stemoco stated last month.

The price spread has not been felt so acutely at most other bunkering destinations with the global price spread as tracked by Ship & Bunker standing at $126 per ton.

The price gap for low sulphur fuel between Singapore and Zhoushan, a Chinese bunkering rival, is also at an all time high.


Author Sam Chambers

Photo:  fivetonine /