[SINGAPORE] Demand for shipping fuel at major Indian ports has climbed in the past week by up to 25 per cent as the cost of refuelling at Singapore, Asia's bunkering hub, soared following the collapse of the world's leading supplier, traders said.
The announcement of OW Bunker's bankruptcy drove up shipping fuel prices in Singapore - one of the cheapest ports in Asia in which to refuel - to their highest in more than two years as oil supplies tightened due to credit worries.
Marine fuel prices in Mumbai, India's largest bunkering port, were still around US$15 a tonne higher than in Singapore on a delivered basis, but a Singapore-based trader said shipowners could be interested in bunkering in India when the price difference between Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, and Singapore narrows.
Fujairah, which is one of the busiest ports in the world, is closer to India and may be taken as a price reference.
The price difference between Fujairah and Singapore has flipped into a discount of more than US$10 since late last week.
"I'm seeing about 20-25 per cent more demand month on month," said a trader who sells fuel in India. "But (buyers) are also just watching the prices, as the market is still volatile, so they are trying to delay their purchases."