In an interesting opinion, Michael Donaldson-Badger, the Managing Director of NSI conveys some main thoughts and information shared during the IP Week in regards with the availability and pricing of bunker fuels after the 1st January 2020 and explains how this information is used to upgrade its “2020planning” online platform.
According to a main observation during the IP Week, the Managing Director of NSI says, there are plans for large supplies of 3.5% sulfur fuels (which will be required from the vessels equipped with scrubbers) to be available at major bunkering ports. However, it is still unclear what will happen with the logistics of delivery barges. And this is because the barges used for delivering 0.5% sulfur can not be utilised for the delivery of 3.5% fuels, otherwise contamination issues may arise. On the other hand, 0.5% fuels seem to start already becoming available in key ports, while many Owners are already taking samples for their own tests or trials.
Furthermore, according to Donaldson-Badger, it looks like the market participants have taken some comfort during the IP Week due to the large flow of information. As a result it appears that the interest for term contracts has been dampened after the event, as compared with the months before.
As far as the pricing is concerned, there is still lack of transparency regarding the pricing models and as a result, market information is characterised by a price variation about the same product of up to +/- $50 pmt; a difference which remains significant.
In the middle of this ongoing flow of information and all new developments, NSI has scheduled updates on its www.2020planning.com platform to include all the latest information exchanged in IP Week, while a new feature is being built by which the users of the platform will have the ability to upload the fuel specs as received from their bunker suppliers while all other users will have access into this information. www.2020planning.com is an online platform created by NSI with a global overview about bunker suppliers’ plans for IMO2020. It is expected that this new module will promote transparency as well as easier access to more information among its users.