Chinas fuel oil sales could double to reach 12 million metric tonnes by 2013, according to Chinese bunker suppliers.
After reaching a high of 2.42 megatonnes (Mt) in June, Chinas marine fuel sales are estimated to have dropped by 1719% from June to July as rising cargo prices discourage its use, according to latest reports. Further falls are expected in August.
Despite the drop in the price of crude oil in the recession, the price of fuel oil has remained high because of the reduced operating volume of oil refineries. The rise in the cost of bunker oil has encouraged more utilities to run on LNG.
However, in the medium term, firms such as Sinopec and PetroChina are planning to expand their marketing networks, which should bring down the cost of bunker oil. Last month an official from Chimbusco, China's largest bunker supplier, predicted that China's bonded bunker market would grow to some 26 million Mt by 2015.