The vendor landscape of the global bunker fuel market is highly competitive owing to the presence of several small independent bunker fuel suppliers, large independent bunker fuel suppliers, and a number of leading oil companies, observes Transparency Market Research. To strengthen their hold on the highly competitive market, companies are focusing on strategies such as geographical expansion – to establish consumer-base in high-growth regions such as Asia Pacific and Europe, and mergers and acquisitions.
Some of the leading companies operating in the market are Gazpromneft Marine Bunker LLC and Lukoil-Bunker LLC, which have operations limited to certain regionals markets, and Chemoil Energy Limited and World Fuel Services Corporation, with operations spread across all key ports of the globe. Other key vendors in the market include BP Marine Ltd., Bunker Holding A/S, and Aegean Marine Petroleum Network.
Transparency Market Research estimates that the global bunker fuel market will exhibit a moderate 3.1% CAGR from 2014 to 2020, rising from consumption volumes of 372.30 mn tons in 2013 to an estimated 460.00 mn tons by 2020.
Container Vessels to Emerge as Leading Consumers of Bunker Fuel
In terms of end users of bunker fuel, the global bunker fuel market presently witnesses the leading demand from bulk and general cargo vessels. However, as loading and unloading of cargo vessels require relatively more time and manpower as compared to container vessels, a factor why the latter are projected to gradually substitute cargo vessels in the next few years. This trend is projected to dramatically change the market share of the key end-user segments of the bunker fuel market in the near future.
From a geographical standpoint, the market in Asia Pacific is presently the leading contributor of revenue to the global bunker fuel market. Rising traffic of oil tankers and container vessels in large ports of Singapore and China have compelled bunker fuel companies to increase investments in the Asia Pacific bunker fuel market. The regional market is expected to remain one of the key contributors of revenue to the global market over the report’s forecast period as well.
Record Low Crude Oil Costs Benefits Bunker Fuel Market
The global bunker fuel market is expected to massively benefit from developments such as the dropping prices of crude oil and the rising number of exploration activities across offshore destinations. Owing to the high demand for bunker fuels for operating offshore support vessels, a number of bunker fuel suppliers have moved their operations to ports that are strategically closer to key offshore hydrocarbon resource sites. Owing to the record reduction in global crude oil prices, bulk purchase and strategic storage of crude oil has significantly increased since early 2016. This has led to a massive rise in crude oil tanker movements across the globe, driving the increased demand for bunker fuel.
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Restrictions on Conventional Polluting Fuels to Compel Companies to Switch to Cleaner Fuels
Rising concerns related to the contribution of shipping liners towards the worsening situation of marine pollution has led to the instigation of several emission reduction regulations on the bunker industry. Several marine routes have been declared emission control areas, requiring shipping companies to switch to low-sulfur content bunker fuels. Although the abovementioned factors have the potential of negatively impacting the present-day bunker fuel market, they could lead to promising growth opportunities for MDO (marine diesel oil) and MGO (marine gas oil) grade bunker fuels. LNG bunkering could also benefit immensely from these developments in the next few years.