The Port of Rotterdam saw record-breaking numbers of fuel shipment by very large crude carriers in 2015, with 51 vessels having discharged and/or loaded fuel oil last year, according to the Port.
That number is 22 more than last year for the 200,000-320,000 deadweight tonnage class, and 12 more than in the Port’s record year of 2012.
Additionally, the Port received a record number of 45 Suezmax tankers in Rotterdam, 4 more than in 2014.
Overall, about 28.3 billion litres of fuel oil was shipped from Rotterdam.
“The increase in the transport of fuel oil is due to a slight growth in its supply in the Northwest Europe region on the one hand,” says Ronald Backers, Business Intelligence Advisor for the Port of Rotterdam Authority.
“The refineries here are operating at full capacity due to this year’s high margins. In addition, Russia saw a large build-up of fuel oil stocks in 2014. At the beginning of 2015, this stock ‘flowed’ in the direction of Rotterdam and other ports. On the other hand, the demand for fuel oil is slightly lower. This is partly due to the introduction, in January 2015, of the requirement to use bunker fuel in the North and Baltic Seas with a maximum sulphur content of 0.5%. This was achieved by using Marine Gas Oil. All in all, this has led to a surplus of fuel oil, which had to be shifted to other markets. The market calls this a ‘supply push’.”