The South America bunker fuel market is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 14% over the period of 2020 - 2025. The bunker fuel market in the region is mainly driven by the ever-rising marine transportation of essential commodities, implementation of the stricter environmental regulations driving the demand for cleaner bunker fuels, and the increase in the use of marine vessels for offshore oil and gas developments. However, the outbreak of COVID-19, leading to the global economic and maritime trade slowdown is likely to restrain the growth of the South America bunker fuel market in the coming years.
- The Very Low Sulfur Fuel Oil (VLSFO) is expected to witness significant growth during the forecast period, owing to factors like IMO 2020 Regulations that came into effect from January 1st, 2020.
- Developing sea trade routes and rising international maritime trade may offer tremendous opportunities for marine fuel suppliers in the region.
- Brazil is expected to dominate the bunker fuel market in the region owing to factors like huge crude oil production and a steady rise in exports from the country.
Key Market Trends
Very Low Sulfur Fuel Oil (VLSFO) to Witness Significant Growth
- Very Low Sulfur Fuel Oil (VLSFO) is expected to witness significant growth in the forecast period, owing to factors like IMO 2020 Regulations that came into effect on 1st January 2020, and rising environmental concerns over high greenhouse gases emissions from the marine sector.
- The demand for VLSFO saw a steady growth since 2019 and significant growth since January 2020, due to the IMO 2020 Regulations. The global average price of VLSFO which reached an all-time high of over 680 USD/metric ton in January 2020, due to high demand and low production, has now settled around 300 USD/ metric ton, due to increased production and development of effective supply chain.
- Major players of the region had started the trial and production of VLSFO ahead of the imposition of IMO 2020. For instance, in May 2019, Petrobras, which is Brazil's national oil company, produced and supplied its first batch of IMO 2020-compliant marine fuel. The production capacity of Petrobras was 45,000-barrel per day in 2019.
- High sulfur fuel oil (HSFO), which has remained the most common fuel, used in the shipping industry, till 2019. However, after successful production and supplies of VLSFO in May 2019, Petrobras had announced to end the amount of HSFO in the fourth quarter of 2019. Further, in March 2020, despite several submissions of fuel oil non-availability reports (FONARs) to IMO, Petrobras stated itself "fully capable" of meeting domestic very low sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO) demand.
- Morevoer, the increasing container port traffic in the countries such as Brazil, Chile, and others, the demand for VLSFO is expected to rise in the coming years.
- Therefore, with the increase in the demand for cleaner fuel and the implementation of IMO 2020 Regulations, very low sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO) is expected to rise significantly in the forecast period.
Brazil to Dominate the Market
- Brazil is the largest economy in the region and is expected to be the fastest-growing economy in the forecast period. The country is one of the fastest-growing countries in the world because of the increasing population, urbanization, and industrialization.
- In 2019, Brazil accounted for around 46% of South American crude oil production, compared to that of around 41%, in 2018. Moreover, in 2019, the country contributed around 15% to the region’s natural gas production.
- Hence, with the expected increase in oil and gas production, trading activities are expected to further increase between Brazil and the rest of the world. With major international trading activities carried out through the marine route, Brazil is expected to become the emerging market for bunker fuel in the near future.
- In 2019, Brazil exported USD 224 billion worth of goods around the globe, an increase of 17.2% since 2015, but declined -6.6% from 2018 to 2019. Some of the major importers of Brazil with a share of imported goods from the country are China (28.1% of total Brazilian exports), United States (13.3%), Netherlands (4.5%), Argentina (4.3%), Japan (2.4%), Chile (2.3%), and so on.
- All of the above factors are expected help the country dominate the region in terms of bunker fuel during the forecast period.
The South America bunker fuel market is moderately fragmented. Some of the key players in this market include Bunker Holding A/S, Monjasa Holding A/S, Vitol Holding BV, World Fuel Services Corp, and Peninsula Petroleum Ltd.
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