Over 40 marine fuel suppliers from around the world have gathered at this year’s Posidonia during what is a critical juncture for the $300 billion bunkering market due to the double whammy of the geopolitical crisis and the uncertainty surrounding the regulatory framework pertaining to the decarbonization of the shipping industry.
Alexander Prokopakis, chief executive officer of Probunkers, an Athens-based independent liquefied natural gas bunker supplier said: “Bunkering has been hit from the trickle-down effect of the sanctions against Russia, and this of course has had a serious impact on prices. Pre-war, the global prices were around $750-850 per ton, and now we are looking at prices above $1,000.
“Since we are in uncharted territory, no one can really predict where the price will end up. Hopefully for now we will stay at this level, if not, the effect of exceeding the US$1,200 mark will bring about a detrimental ripple effect across the entire shipping industry.”
His views are shared by another major bunkering player with a strong Greek presence, Baluco. Commercial Manager John Stavropoulos said: “The price of oil has doubled, and this has created an extra cost for ship operators because oil and lubricants account for almost 60-70% of the total vessel operational expenses. So, the total cost per journey has skyrocketed and that’s not just it: Credit lines for operators have also been impacted as they have to pay double the amount they used to in order to receive the same volume as they did before the crisis.”
They both said that demand for bunkering fuel has not been impacted and has in fact increased at ports outside Russia, as the points of supply have been reduced.
Posidonia is heading for an all-time attendance record. Posidonia Exhibitions Managing Director Theodore Vokos said: “Following the event’s best-attended Tuesday ever, with a total of 5,945 visitors, [on Wednesday] we witnessed the best-attended Wednesday ever in a Posidonia, welcoming 8,356 visitors in the four halls of the Metropolitan Expo center.“
Posidonia concludes on Friday, featuring among other events the YES Shipping Forum from 10.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Posidonia Conference Hall and the press conference of the Union of Greek Shipowners at 11 a.m.