The bunker fuel market is growing due to the growing demands of fuel for tanker vessels and container ships. Large bunkering ports around the globe are Port of Fujairah and Singapore, accounting for a considerable share in the global bunker fuel market. Asia-Pacific is leading the bunker fuel market due to fact that major commodity consumption centers of the world are in the region. European bunker fuel market is growing with a considerable rate because the region has some of the busiest trading routes in the world and the region houses several choke points, evolving into major trading routes. Port of Rotterdam and the Port of Gibraltar, busy routes in the region, have urbanized into an attractive bunkering destination owing to be near to the choke points.
Bunker fuel is utilized by shipping corporations for fueling their marine fleet. Distillate fuel and residual fuel are the types of fuel used in the bunker fuel market. Residual fuel dominates the bunker fuel market among the types of fuels used with around three fourth market share.
Bunker fuel market can be categorized on the basis of fuel grades as marine gas oil or marine diesel oil (MGO/MDO), intermediate fuel oil (IFO) 380, IFO 500, low sulfur (LS) 380, IFO 180, LS 180 and IFO 700. IFO 380 and IFO 180 are the most preferred fuel grades among the fuel grade categories, owing to the cheaper cost of IFO 380 and IFO 180 as compared to other fuel grades. IFO 380 is expected to grow at a significant rate in coming years because most of the ship engines are capable of combusting IFO 380 fuel grade. As emission control areas (ECAs) are expanding, the demand for MDO and MGO is expected to increase in the coming years.
On the basis of seller of bunker fuels, the bunker fuel market can be categorized as leading independent distributors, major oil companies and small independent distributors. Some of the companies such as World Fuel Services Corporation and Chemoil Energy Limited operate in most of the major regions of the world. Lukoil-Bunker LLC and Gazpromneft Marine Bunker LLC are the companies which operate only in some restricted regions of the world. Leading independent distributors has a major advantage over small independent distributors that they own physical assets such as blending facilities and storage terminals in major bunkering ports. Since, the leading independent distributors are much more financially stable than small independent distributors; they can easily afford to acquire such physical assets in large ports as compared to small independent distributors.
On the basis of end users, bunker fuel market can be categorized as tanker vessels, container vessels, and bulk and general cargo vessels. Bulk and general cargo vessels dominate the global bunker market. But cargo vessels require more manpower and time to carry to do loading and unloading activities as compared to container vessels, so container vessels are replacing cargo vessels from the global bunker fuel market. Due to the replacement of cargo vessels by container vessels, container vessels are expected to have a significant share in the bunker fuel market.
Some of the factors driving the growth of the bunker fuel market are rapid increase in bunker requirements in crude oil and product tankers, and increasing hydrocarbon resource development activities in offshore areas. But, there are also some factors restraining the growth of the bunker fuel market such as fuel reduction initiatives by global shipping community.
Some of the competitors in the bunker fuel market are Gazpromneft Marine Bunker LLC, Aegean Marine Petroleum Network, Inc., Lukoil-Bunker LLC, Exxon Mobil Corporation, and Chemoil Energy Limited.