EghtesadOnline: International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) visited various shipping and bunker participants in Copenhagen earlier in January and said players reported "a surprisingly smooth transition" to the International Maritime Organization's revamped sulfur regulations for marine fuel.
The participants commenced preparations for IMO 2020 at least two years prior to its implementation, S&P Global Platts reported.
Recent "price volatility and high prices can be painful, but it has also been to the benefit for some who secured supply contracts during 2019 when prices were not expected to be that high," IBIA said, according to Financial Tribune.
The price of 0.5%S bunker fuel in Rotterdam surged more than 16% as demand rose in December and at the start of January.
As a result, one bunker buyer told the IBIA it had seen an increase in deliveries that were smaller than what was expected in recent weeks.
In terms of quality, the companies said they had not had the "the operational nightmare that [was] predicted" for fuel stability and compatibility, IBIA said. This was, in part, due to diligent procurement strategies to obtain information on pre-testing in advance, one company told the trade association, it said.
Notably, the company observed "large differences in the quality of 0.5%S [very low sulfur fuel oil], depending on the nature of the blends. For example ... with regards to [catalytic] fines, with either very high or very low levels," the IBIA said.
"One concern that kept cropping up in our conversations with both buyers and suppliers ... was how to deal with sulfur test results marginally above the 0.5% limit," the IBIA said.